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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker Back In First Round, Headed To Seattle

The dip Jake Locker’s draft stock took was just temporary, and after showing improvement at the NFL Combine, Locker is back in the first round again. Locker fell out of many 2011 NFL mock drafts following the Senior Bowl, but has impressed enough, and taken steps forward since then, to improve his draft stock and move back into the first round. Locker has been a bit of an enigma, with projections all over the map as analysts try to nail-down where he’ll end up.

CBS Sports’ Chad Reuter updated his 2011 NFL mock draft on Monday and the news was good for Locker. Reuter had dropped the Washington quarterback shortly after the Senior Bowl, and has kept him on the outside looking in since. But on Monday, Locker was back, heading to the Seattle Seahawks with the 25th pick in the draft. The projection comes with a caveat, though.

I’m not sure the Seahawks have real interest in Locker, but a quarterback is getting picked somewhere in the late first, even if it’s after a team trades up from the early second.

Though Locker and the Seahawks seem like a match made in heaven, many analysts in the know maintain Seattle has little interest in him. That doesn’t mean he won’t end up in the first round, though, as all it takes is a team falling in love with his upside for him to come off the board in the first 32 picks.

As Reuter mentions, if Locker’s around late in the first round, it’s possible a team moves up to grab him near the end of the round. We’ve seen it before, with Tim Tebow last year, and it’s tough to see Locker still on the board by the time the second round rolls around. If the Seahawks pass on him, or trade away their pick so another team could take Locker, the reaction in Seattle, especially among Huskies’ fans, could be an interesting subplot in the draft.

For more projections, check out the rest of our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.