It’s no secret that the quarterback situation for the Seattle Seahawks is unsettled. While Seattle would like to retain incumbent Matt Hasselbeck – and probably will – there is no guarantee backup Charlie Whitehurst is the future of the franchise. As a result, fans in the Pacific Northwest have been campaigning for Pete Carroll and company to take Washington signal-caller Jake Locker with the team’s first pick in the NFL Draft, and ensure the local hero stays close to home.
Well, that appears more and more likely as we approach the night of the draft. Following an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and a mildly successful pro day, Locker has gone a long way to erasing memories of a horrible final college year that included a disastrous trip to the Senior Bowl. Has he done enough for the Seahawks to take him with the 25th pick in the draft? Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay think he has.
According to virtually every source, Locker is a great kid with a big arm, a great attitude and incredible athleticism for a quarterback. The one thing holding him back has been his accuracy. The kid just can’t hit targets the way he should be able to with all of his physical tools, and most scouts will tell you that accuracy is an innate ability. You either have it or you don’t. But some talent evaluators – Kiper included – believe Locker is the kind of guy who would work tirelessly to improve and wouldn’t put it past him because of the kind of kid he is.
That said, if Locker ends up in Seattle, there is no way he starts or plays any time soon. Hasselbeck would be his mentor for at least a year, maybe two.
McShay makes a great point about Locker and Seattle though. He claims it might be difficult for a guy who struggles with his accuracy to fit in Seattle’s West Coast offense, which relies heavily on short, accurate passing and quick decision making. That said, Locker could be used effectively on the run and rolling out with such a scheme as well.
Locker grew up in Ferndale, Washington where he led Ferndale High School to a state title in 2005. He spurned offers from some of the nation’s top programs to stay home and attend Washington. Then, he passed up a chance at NFL riches (he was a projected top 10 pick in the 2010 Draft) to finish what he started with the Huskies and graduate. In his senior season he led Washington to its first bowl win in a decade at the 2010 Holiday Bowl.
Frankly it’s hard to root against a guy like Locker. We think it would be a great story if the Seahawks took him.