While reviews of Jake Locker’s Senior Bowl performance were mixed at the time, it appears he did more to hurt his stock than help it in Alabama last weekend. Locker was inconsistent throughout the week of practices, struggling with his footwork and accuracy at times. In the first round of mock drafts after the Senior Bowl, Locker’s stock took a significant hit, with many analysts dropping him out of the first round. The latest draft expert to drop Locker out of the upper-echelon of draft prospects was none other than Mel Kiper.
Kiper, ESPN’s draft guru and resident hair expert, wasn’t impressed with Locker, dropping the former Washington quarterback, and Alabama quarterback Ryan Mallett, down on his NFL Draft Big Board. As of today, Locker is outside of the top-25, a discouraging omen for his chances in April’s draft. He did, however, quantify the statement, saying Locker had plenty of time to recover (via Christian Caple of the Seattle PI).
Each has tremendous talent and upside, but these two also have question marks, and have some work to do during the workout process over the next two months to bounce back.
Locker has some work to do ahead of the draft, but will have plenty of chances to improve in the eyes of NFL scouts. Between the combine, individual workouts and the ever-so-important interview process, there’s a good chance Locker will redeem himself and improve, though it’s likely he’ll still be the third- or fourth-best quarterback prospect in the 2011 draft class.
It’s his character and work ethic — something that will shine through during interviews at the combine and otherwise — that increases the likelihood that a team falls in love with him. Even though he may be a borderline first-rounder now, by the time the draft rolls there’s a good chance someone snatches him up in the first 32 picks.
For the latest on the draft, check out our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.