ESPN’s John Clayton has been taking in the NFL Combine this week, evaluating some of the best and brightest NFL Draft prospects in Indianapolis. On Sunday, the quarterbacks took the field, going through the typical drills associated with a combine workout. Jake Locker and Christian Ponder both impressed, according to many, and Ponder may have helped his draft stock more than anyone at the combine, vaulting into upper-echelon of quarterbacks in the draft class.
According to Clayton, if the draft were today, the Seattle Seahawks should take Ponder over Locker at No. 25, should they choose to take a quarterback. Clayton opened up about the quarterbacks on Monday while speaking to Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore on 710 ESPN (via Calabro’s Twitter account).
John Clayton: “If I were drafting (as the Seahawks) today, I would take Ponder over Locker. He looks more polished.”
Locker is far from a finished product at this stage in his development. After working primarily out of a spread-offense, Locker made the transition to more of a pro style scheme ahead of his junior year at Washington, coinciding with Steve Sarkisian’s arrival. It’s been a slow process, and most scouts believe Locker will still need plenty of time to develop at the professional level.
Though Locker would have time to develop in Seattle — with Matt Hasselbeck still around and Charlie Whitehurst as a potential stop-gap — there’s a risk associated with taking him in the first round. Ponder has continued to impress in workouts, but hasn’t been mentioned among the top-quarterbacks in the class, at least until now. It would be surprising to see the Seahawks take Ponder in the first round, but stranger things have happened.
For more on the draft, check out the rest of our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.