There’s no question Washington quarterback Jake Locker can show flashes of brilliance at times. His athletic ability and rocket arm allow him to make dazzling plays on the run as he becomes a one-man wrecking crew at times on the field. But it’s the consistency — the ability to make the stock throws every NFL quarterback needs to have in the bag — that has scouts worried ahead of the draft. This week at the Senior Bowl, Locker had a chance to put some of those fears to rest with a consistent week, but couldn’t.
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang filed a report from Alabama on Locker, summing up his week quite week. In it, Rang details the throws Locker needs to consistently make in order to alleviate some fears about his ability. So far, he hasn’t done so, leaving plenty of questions surrounding his draft stock.
Tuesday’s practice seemed to be a step forward for Locker, who needed to make a solid impression all week to become more than a fantastic athlete with potential. Wednesday he struggled again to connect consistently with receivers while standing in the pocket, coming up short on multiple throws to the wide side of the field. It is clear the Pac-10 star passer is aiming or pressing, trying to be perfect on every throw instead of allowing his athleticism and arm strength to shine through.
If Locker cannot exhibit NFL-caliber accuracy on seam or out routes when playing against air in one-on-one drills, or even against a half-effort pass rush in team scrimmages, it is hard to project him doing it during his NFL career.
That’s been the book on Locker all along. One day he’s solid, the next day he’s underwhelming. If he can’t figure out how to become an accurate passer between now and the draft — and it’s hard to believe he will — then his draft stock will suffer as a result.
While practices are winding down, the game is still set to take place on Saturday. Follow along with our 2011 Senior Bowl StoryStream for the latest from Alabama.