Mel Kiper has been slowly releasing 2011 NFL mock draft updates, and Wednesday brought a fourth version of his picks. Kiper has tied three different names to the Seahawks in his first three mock drafts, with Ryan Mallett, Mike Pouncey and Jake Locker all tied to Seattle at one point or another. But in his mock draft version 4.0, Kiper went with a familiar name as he chose not to change his pick for the Seahawks.
Once again, Kiper pegged Jake Locker as the No. 25 pick, heading to Seattle, in the 2011 NFL Draft. ESPN NFC West blogger Mike Sando broke down the pick, noting the risk associated with drafting Locker.
Selecting Locker would allow the Seahawks to say they addressed the position, but would they have found their next quarterback? They likely would not find out in 2011. It’s tough taking a higher-risk, long-term quarterback project in the first round without having a veteran with the ability to win games in the interim. Would Locker fit the Seahawks’ offense? It’s safe to assume the Seahawks would make their offense fit Locker if they drafted him in the first round.
The Seahawks have some time to break in a new quarterback as Matt Hasselbeck likely has another year in the tank. Wherever Locker goes, it’s clear he’ll need time to develop, spending at least a year learning the system and continuing to polish his mechanics. Locker’s physical tools are outstanding, but concerns about his mechanics and accuracy persist, making him a bit of a gamble as a first round pick.
It does appear the Seahawks are taking a hard look at Locker ahead of the draft. A large contingent of Seahawks brass, including general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, were at Locker’s pro day workout and the Seahawks plan to bring him in for a workout ahead of the draft, as well.
We’ll continue to update our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream ahead of the draft as experts narrow their picks. Stay tuned for the latest projections in the weeks leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft.