It seems like Blaine Gabbert is the only quarterback the mock draft experts can agree on ahead of the NFL draft. Gabbert has been the first quarterback off the board in every mock draft for the better part of the month, rising in the rankings after opting to forgo his senior year at Missouri. After that, though, it gets more complicated, with Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett all jockeying for position as analysts try to project where each fits in the first round of the draft.
Though Locker had an inconsistent week at the Senior Bowl, the latest 2011 NFL mock draft from SB Nation projects he’ll be the second quarterback taken, coming off the board smack-dab in the middle of the first round.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake Locker, QB, Washington: It was an up-and-down week for Locker at Mobile, as the Washington signal-caller got mixed reviews, to say the least. He’s still in play for Jacksonville, who might consider him if all of the draft’s best senior defensive linemen are off the board.
Jacksonville holds the 16th pick in the draft, but hasn’t been connected to a quarterback until now. In this week’s version of the mock draft, the four quarterbacks are falling fast, with Gabbert coming off the board first at No. 12 pick, Locker at No. 16 and Cam Newton at No. 25, to the Seahawks. Ryan Mallet is the odd-man out, falling to the second round.
Still, that Locker is still projected as a mid-round pick after an up-and-down week at the Senior Bowl is encouraging. With plenty of time to refine his mechanics and improve his accuracy ahead of the draft, Locker still has a chance to move up and improve his draft stock in the next two months.