While it’s not necessarily a competition, Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett hit the field at the same time during the Sunday morning quarterback drills at the NFL Combine. Both faced questions about their accuracy, and Mallett has been dealing with character concerns throughout the combine. But after they hit the field with the first quarterback group, doing what they do best, each drew praise from analysts and players alike after strong performances.
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang singled out Locker after the session, saying he started out a bit slow but picked it up as the drills wore on.
He struggled early on with his accuracy some of the simpler throws — including the throws over the middle to receivers during the gauntlet drill and the curl routes early in his throwing session.
As the session continued, however, Locker got hot, nailing the deep ball and the post-corner — generally considered the most difficult throw quarterbacks are asked to make here. These two routes require a combination of arm strength, touch and, of course, accuracy
Overall, Locker drew praise and appeared to improve his draft stock at the combine, picking up some momentum ahead of his own pro day and the NFL Draft. His performance at the combine was markedly better than what he displayed at the Senior Bowl, improving leaps and bounds since the last time scouts got a look at him. If he continues to follow that path, Locker could find himself easily in the first round, perhaps shooting up the board because of his athleticism.
For more results from the Sunday session, check out our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.