2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker's Draft Stock Continues To Rise

Jake Locker's draft stock has been difficult to evaluate ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft. We'll be keeping an eye on various 2011 NFL mock drafts to see where Locker may land in the next few weeks.

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Todd McShay 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker Falls From First Round

Either Todd McShay knows something very few others do or he’s just throwing darts at a dartboard like the rest of us. With just hours to go until the 2011 NFL Draft, McShay dropped Jake Locker from the first round in his final 2011 NFL mock draft. It’s a somewhat stunning fall for Locker, who McShay had touted as the No. 1 overall pick had he opted to forgo his senior year at Washington.

Unlike many other 2011 NFL mock drafts we’ve seen, McShay only has two quarterbacks — Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert — coming off the board in the first round But in the second round, the quarterbacks come flying off the draft board, with four projected to be picked in the first 10 picks of the round. Locker is the fifth quarterback off the board, after Newton, Gabbert, Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder

Locker’s projected landing spot also isn’t likely to sit well with Seattle fans. McShay has the Arizona Cardinals, NFC West rival of the Seattle Seahawks, choosing Locker at No. 38 overall — the sixth pick of the second round.

Will the first round shake out like Mel Kiper predicts, with teams snatching up quarterbacks? Or will McShay predict it right, with other Newton and Gabbert selected in the first round? We’ll find out as the first round gets underway on Thursday at 5 p.m.

For the latest on Locker’s draft stock, stay with this StoryStream. We’ll continue gathering projections in an effort to see just where he may end up as the 2011 NFL Draft gets started in New York on Thursday evening.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Has Jake Locker Heading To Minnesota Vikings

Mel Kiper has struggled with where to slot Jake Locker, a common problem ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft. Locker has been up and down throughout the process, riding the waves of performances that lacked consistency. From a struggle in the Senior Bowl that saw him fall out of many mock drafts to a strong NFL Combine that pushed him back in, it's been impossible to tell which Jake Locker will show up in the NFL. Will it be the inconsistent passer who struggles with accuracy? Or will it be the phenomenal athlete who shows flashes of brilliance at time?

In his final 2011 NFL mock draft, Kiper has Locker back in the top-half of the first round. From what we've seen in the past few days, it appears Locker may be destined to come off the board when the Washington Redskins pick at No. 10 or the Minnesota Vikings pick at No. 12. Kiper agrees with the latter assessment and has Locker heading to Minnesota with the 12th pick, though he hints the Vikings may trade down with the belief Locker may still be around in the No 16 to No. 20 range.

Here is a quick sampling of Kiper's evaluation.

This pick comes with a caveat: I think the Vikings will actively be looking to move down and get Locker later. But if they do get him here, what they get is a guy with an exceptional package of skills and intangibles. Locker's struggles last year and his fall in the eyes of evaluators is well-covered ground, but what's kept him as a first-round option is a big-time arm, athleticism that matches that of Newton, a solid work ethic and the kind of moxie and leadership skills coaches crave.

Locker will be a player to watch as the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday. It's unlikely he falls out of the first round and if he's still on the board late Thursday evening, we may see teams trading into the first round to get him. One things for sure: Locker's ride has been a wild one and the drama will continue all the way up until his name is called on Thursday night.

For the latest on Locker's draft stock, stay with this StoryStream. We'll continue gathering projections in an effort to see just where he may end up as the 2011 NFL Draft gets started in New York on Thursday evening.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker To Minnesota Vikings In Pete Prisco's Mock

We’ve seen Jake Locker in the top-10, the middle of the first round and on the outside looking in at the top-32 picks, making him one of the more intriguing prospects. Locker’s draft stock appears to have settled somewhere in the No. 10 to No. 25 range, giving us a broad array of potential landing sports come draft day. Depending on which 2011 NFL mock draft you believe, Locker is either rising or staying stagnant, though trades are rarely factored into the projections and could throw everything off on Thursday.

On Monday, we saw Locker show up in the top-10, heading to the Washington Redskins in the latest round of 2011 NFL mock drafts. But there’s hardly a consensus and CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco sees Locker as the No. 12 pick, taken by the Minnesota Vikings. It’s a story we’ve seen before, and allows us to narrow down the teams Locker could be a great fit for.

Jake Locker, QB, Washington: This might seem high, but this kid was considered a possible first overall pick at one point.

At this point in the process, Locker at No. 12 doesn’t seem to high and is a projection we’ve seen multiple times. The Vikings, like the Redskins, need a quarterback. Brett Favre is gone and the other options are less than enticing. Locker would have a capable running back in Adrian Peterson and could use his athleticism as a weapon outside the pocket in Minnesota. Like the Redskins, it seems like a good fit for his skill-set and Minnesota could be a place Locker succeeds.

For the latest on Locker and his draft stock, stay tuned to this StoryStream. Locker will find out where he’ll be headed on Thursday, April 28 as the first round gets underway in New York City.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker To Washington Redskins Gains Steam

Where once Jake Locker was seen as a second round prospect, he’s now widely seen as the Washington Redskin’s top-choice at No. 10 if the latest 2011 NFL mock draft from SB Nation is to be believed. We’ve seen Locker floated as the Redskin’s possible pick recently, and the thought appears to be gaining plenty of steam. The Redskins need a quarterback and Locker fits the system of Mike Shanahan, which relies more on a mobile quarterback and less on accurate, drop-back passing.

The final 2011 NFL mock draft from SB Nation makes a firm stand, and projects Locker as the No. 10 pick. Brian Galliford and Dana Kadar know the risks associated with Locker, but feel the positives, including his character, outweigh the negatives.

10. Washington Redskins: Jake Locker, QB, Washington. This might strike many as a risky pick, but Locker’s a high-character kid that fits Mike Shanahan’s offense extremely well.

With the run on quarterbacks, and teams scrambling to find a capable signal-caller with free agency on hold, as many as six could go in the first round. For Locker, it’s welcome news, and begins to validate his decision to come back after a shaky start to the pre-draft buildup. After seeing his stock fall, Locker is back with a vengeance, and should be firmly in the top-half of the first round, if not the top-10.

For the latest on Locker and his draft stock, stay tuned to this StoryStream. Locker will find out where he’ll be headed on Thursday, April 28 as the first round gets underway in New York City.

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2011 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock Thinks Jake Locker Could Be Washington Redskins Pick

For Jake Locker, success in the NFL may come down to finding a team with the right scheme. With athleticism that rivals any quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft, Locker can throw on the run, make plays with his feet and use his speed to his advantage. His ability to take off and run has helped mask his inability to throw an accurate ball, though scouts have been picking apart his mechanics and accuracy ahead of the draft. With that in mind, it would make sense if Locker was drafted by a team with an offensive scheme that’s more dynamic, with less of a West Coast philosophy.

Mike Mayock took a look at Locker’s skill-set and determined he could find success in the NFL. But it will take a specific scheme to fit Locker while utilizing his biggest weapon: Throwing on the run (via Washington Post).

"Locker likes getting out on the edge and he’s mostly accurate off play-action rolling out right or left," Mayock said in a teleconference with reporters Wednesday. "That’s what Mike Shanahan’s scheme is. It’s a lot of play-action. It’s a quarterback making a decision on half the field. … If he has a chance to play early and play effectively, I think that’s the kind of system he’s set up for."

Locker still faces a difficult road ahead and will need time to develop, but Shanahan’s system fits him well. But with the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, it may be a reach to snap Locker up, though the Washington quarterback has been rising in many mock drafts. Would the Redskins trade down in hopes of picking him up later or would they pull the trigger at No. 10?

We’ll find out as the 2011 NFL Draft gets started on April 28. For the latest on Locker and his draft stock, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Tennessee Titans Select Jake Locker In Rob Rang's Mock

Rob Rang has been up-and-down when it comes to Washington quarterback Jake Locker, moving him all over the place in his 2011 NFL mock draft. After a disappointing Senior Bowl, Rang dropped Locker out of the first round, and many other analysts followed suit. But since then, Locker has been rising ahead of the draft, and has been the biggest mover in Rang’s mock draft, shooting back into the first round and then some.

On Monday, Rang released his latest mock draft and Locker was back in the top-10. With quarterbacks in high-demand, teams are taking a closer look at Locker as they try to fill needs in the draft due to the uncertainty of the NFL lockout. The Tennessee Titans are one such team, with Rang pegging Locker as the Titans’ first round pick at No. 8 overall.

The Titans like Locker, though perhaps not enough to take him this high. Tennessee is exploring trade possibilities, I’m told, with an eye toward adding the Washington quarterback at a later point in the first round. The Titans might be wise to simply draft Locker here if they truly rank him significantly higher than the rest of the quarterbacks, as the Redskins (No. 10), Vikings (No. 12), Dolphins (No. 15) and Jaguars (No. 16) could each use a young quarterback to develop.

It’s the highest we’ve seen Locker since Todd McShay anointed him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and it makes sense. Tennessee needs a quarterback immediately as it tries to replace Vince Young while finding stability at a position that’s more closely resembled a revolving door recently. But, as Rang says, Locker is a stretch at No. 8. If the Titans can trade down, they may, but plenty of teams are chomping at the bit and looking for a capable quarterback.

Where once it appeared Locker had made the wrong decision in coming back to Washington, it now appears the need for quarterbacks and the labor uncertainty may play into his advantage. Though projections are all over the place for Locker, more mock drafts have him in the mid to early first round. With the draft just over a week away, it’s a good sign for Locker and Washington fans.

For more on the draft, stay with our Jake Locker projections StoryStream.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker Falls In SB Nation Blog Draft

If crowd-sourcing is to be believed, Jake Locker may be waiting quite some time to hear his name when the 2011 NFL Draft rolls around. Locker has been rising in many a 2011 NFL mock draft, but the SB Nation bloggers clearly don't hold him in high regard. We've seen Locker as high as No. 10 in a few mock drafts, but he remains as polarizing as ever and difficult to nail down.

When it came to the SB Nation blog mock draft, Locker was picked by the Buffalo Bills, owners of the No. 3 overall pick. But Buffalo didn't take him in the first round, nor did any other SB Nation blogger. Instead, Locker came off the board at No. 34 as the second pick in the second round. Brian Galliford saw Locker as a value pick and scooped him up because of it.

When a player as athletically gifted and clean off the field as Locker falls to the second round, there's probably a good reason. In this case, he really was disappointing as a senior from a development standpoint, has major ball placement and recognition issues, and is generally very raw. He's got a long way to go on the mental side of the game.

Check out the rest of Galliford's write-up and more analysis on the pick.

The SB Nation bloggers clearly remain down on Locker, who has been labeled a boom or bust draft pick. His physical tools are outstanding, but accuracy questions and concerns about his ability to grasp a playbook remain. Locker impressed at his pro day and has looked good in combine situations, but his game tape leaves much to be desired. The SB Nation mock draft confirms he's about as hard to nail-down as they come, and draft day could be a nervous time for Locker.

For more on Locker from a Washington Huskies standpoint, check out SB Nation's UW Dawg Pound. For more on Locker and the 2011 NFL Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Minnesota Vikings Another Option For Jake Locker

When perusing the needs of NFL teams, it’s clear many are in the market for a quarterback, whether it be an immediate contributor a one that could develop and blossom into a capable starter down the line. While some have entrenched starters — Tom Brady in New England, Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, Drew Brees in New Orleans and so-on — many are looking for that right combination as they try to strike gold in the 2011 NFL Draft. One such quarterback is Washington’s Jake Locker, who oozes potential but comes with many question marks. And if the latest 2011 NFL mock draft from Walter Football is correct, Locker could be called upon to contribute immediate, and may see his name come off the board early in the first round.

The Minnesota Vikings are in the market for a quarterback after losing Brett Favre to retirement. With a cupboard filled with signal-callers who have plenty of athletic ability and plenty of questions, Locker would fit right in with the Vikings, but may also be thrust into the limelight too soon.

It almost pains me to make this pick for the Vikings. A week ago, I would have scoffed at the prospect of Jake Locker going as high as No. 12 in the 2011 NFL Draft. But multiple reliable reports are indicating that Locker will be a top-16 selection and that Minnesota covets him, envisioning the Washington quarterback as the next Brett Favre.

The words aren’t kind for Locker in the Walter Football mock draft as the author compares him to Jake Plummer while picking his mechanics apart. Locker is a two-year project, the author says, and taking him at No. 12 shows the Vikings are desperate. While it may ring true, Locker would have a chance to shine immediately, fueled with motivation to prove the doubters wrong.

Stay with this StoryStream as we track various 2011 NFL mock drafts to see where Locker may end up when the draft begins on April 28.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker To Jacksonville Jaguars Floated

We've seen Jake Locker's name attached to quite a few teams in various 2011 NFL mock drafts, but this week a new suitor emerged. The Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and even the Miami Dolphins have been connected to Locker at one point or another, but this time it was the other team from Florida with its name thrown in the Locker sweepstakes. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the newest team connected to Locker in at least one mock draft, and the reasoning makes it appear the former Washington quarterback may be a good fit.

SB Nation's latest 2011 NFL mock draft tied Locker to the Jaguars and has been slowly moving the Washington product up its draft boards recently. In Jacksonville, Locker will have time to develop behind David Garrard, making it an intriguing landing spot for the still-developing quarterback.

Locker's still flying under the radar a bit, but the theme here is that players with Locker's talent and intangibles don't last long in Round 1. David Garrard affords Locker the development time he'll need in Jacksonville.

Truth be told, this is another indication that projecting where Locker may end up in the first round is akin to throwing darts at a dartboard. Depending on who you ask, Locker is either a top-10 pick, destined for Seattle at No. 25 or barely in the first round. He may just be the toughest prospect to get a good read on ahead of the draft.

But in Jacksonville, Locker could find a suitable home with adequate time to develop behind Garrard, giving him valuable practice repetitions to work with as the coaching staff tweaks his mechanics. Though Locker has shown improvement recently, it's still likely he needs time to properly develop and asking him to step-in as the starter right away is a disaster waiting to happen. Whoever drafts him will need patience, but may reap significant rewards if he's able to fulfill his potential.

Stay with this StoryStream as we track various 2011 NFL mock drafts to see where Locker may end up when the draft begins on April 28.

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2011 NFL Draft: Jake Locker To Visit New England Patriots, According To Report

With the 2011 NFL Draft approaching, prospects are busy flying across the country on whirlwind trips to meet with potential suitors. For likely first round picks, this means non-stop travel with individual workouts and interviews along the way as they try to make a solid impression on teams ahead of the draft. One such prospect is Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who has been busy since showcasing his skills at the NFL Combine and Washington pro day in the last month.

Locker is a busy man this week, but his latest visit is an intriguing one. According to a report by ESPN, Locker is spending two days with the New England Patriots, owners of both the No. 17 and No. 29 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

This year, the Patriots have the No. 17 and No. 28 overall picks, which could afford them the luxury of filling an immediate need as well as potentially drafting a highly rated quarterback in the first round to groom behind Brady, the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player.

For Locker, New England could be an ideal fit as he’d have time to develop behind a proven and capable quarterback in Tom Brady. Locker will need time to learn the position and tweak his mechanics, but who better to learn it from than Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick? If the Patriots are serious about Locker, and it appears they are, it’s likely they’re looking at Locker with the No. 17 pick as most mock drafts have the quarterback off the board by No. 25 at the latest.

One thing’s for sure, a visit to New England can only help Locker ahead of the draft. If Belichick is interested enough to take a good, hard look at him, you can bet other team’s eyebrows are raised.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more on Locker, including where he’s been working out and which teams are showing interest. For more on the Washington Huskies, head over to SB Nation’s UW Dawg Pound.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker's Draft Stock Continues To Rise

Washington quarterback Jake Locker has been on a rollercoaster ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft as his draft stock bounces up and down on an almost daily basis. There's no question Locker has the physical tools to perform at the sports highest level, but questions about his accuracy and mechanics have scouts wary of picking him in the first round. After a less than accurate Senior Bowl and practices that didn't inspire confidence, Locker fell all the way out of the first round in many 2011 NFL mock drafts, but has been on a steady rise since as he shows improvement at various workouts leading up to the draft.

Locker has come full circle in at least one mock draft, moving back into the top-10 after breezing through his pro day workout. CBS Sports' Rob Rang has Locker going to the Washington Redskins, but he also floats the idea of a trade.

Though it would be a surprise to see the Redskins take Locker here (but not out of the question), with only two picks (No. 10, No. 41) before the fifth round, the Redskins will be looking at trade-down options and could be targeting the former Washington passer if they are successful in doing so.

It's about fit with Locker, and finding an offense that suits his skill-set. As of now, Locker's legs are his biggest strength, and an offense that allows him to roam and throw on the run would seem to be an ideal fit.

Chad Reuter, Rang's counterpart at CBS, also has Locker in the first round, but stuck with what's become the conventional wisdom recently. With the 25th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Reuter believes the Seattle Seahawks will hop aboard the Locker bandwagon.

Even if the Seahawks decide not to go this route, a team is likely to deal to get him if Locker drifts to the spot below where the Packers nabbed Aaron Rodgers in 2005.

It seems unlikely Locker will fall out of the first round as some team will snatch him up, either within the order currently set or through a trade. Despite the concerns, his athleticism is too much of a draw, and the improvement he's shown may be enough to convince teams to take a chance.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more on Locker, including where he's been working out and which teams are showing interest. For more on the Washington Huskies, head over to SB Nation's UW Dawg Pound.

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