The NFL Is Calling Washington Huskies QB Jake Locker

Ian PetersonCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 03: Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies runs runs against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on October 3, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Washington 37-30. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Perusing the top 32 pro prospects for the NFL yields a dazzling list of talented players at top programs around the country.

On name sticks out at No. 6—not because of his name, but because of the school he plays for. ESPN has Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Locker listed at No. 6 overall.

Hard to believe that ranking for a player on a team that has underachieved to such a large degree, indeed for a player many believe has underachieved so far in his career.

Locker has a couple things working towards this ranking: NFL size and speed, NFL strength, and his knowledge of working in a pro-style offense under head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Sarkisian's offense has turned around a player who averaged 47.3 on his passing two years ago—he now averages 57.4. 

Let's not forget game-tying and game-winning drives against Notre Dame and USC, respectively.

Locker's prospects have skyrocketed over the last couple months. If you ever watch ESPN pro-prospect coverage with Todd McShay, you will see McShay completely gush about Locker.

It's impressive when you look at the quarterbacks that may come out this year, including the likes of Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and Tony Pike, not to mention star junior Jimmy Clausen as well. It is high praise to be mentioned second in that group only to Bradford.

If you are a Husky fan, it has to cause a lot of worry. Looking at the struggles of Tebow and Bradford with injuries, it's hard to argue against taking the money and running.

It would probably benefit Locker in the long run to stay and work longer in the offense, and gain that all important experience. Who can say what will happen?

If Locker does leave, where does that leave the Huskies?

Ronnie Fouch and Keith Price are the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and neither has gotten any experience so far this season. Fouch was less than memorable in his eight starts for the Huskies last season.

Recruit Nick Montana is highly touted, but comes up a little short on the physical side—much like his father—and may need time to grow into the role of a Division I quarterback.

Sarkisian is most likely looking into the possibility of Locker pulling a Mark Sanchez and entering the draft. There is a lot of weight heading in that direction over the last month. 

Who knows, though? Locker's commitment has always been above reproach, and he could come back for the good of the team. 

He could also take a nosedive in terms of his progress in the second half of the season and prove to the scouts he needs another year. 

It will be an interesting saga to watch play out over the next several months.