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Jake Locker: Overrated?

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies pleads for a penalty after having his helmut ripped off on a running play against the Oregon Ducks on October 24, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. No penalty was called on the play, and the Ducks defeated the Huskies 43-19. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Ken NDContributor IJanuary 1, 2017

Jake Locker is the most overrated player in college football, and will be a bust in the NFL.

This is a statement that might be considered blasphemy to Washington Husky fans, but only because the truth hurts.  Don't get me wrong, Locker has as much raw talent as any QB that has graced a college football field since he began as a highly-touted recruit in 2006 out of Ferndale, Washington.  He has prototypical size, he's strong, fast, and has a gun for an arm.  So what's not to like?  His accuracy and poor decision-making leave much to be desired, and it will lead to failure in the NFL just as it has in college.

Random College Season and Career Facts

1. His career record through the 2009 Oregon game stands at 6-18.

2. Career TD/INT ratio is an abysmal 27-23.

3. Current QB rating of 123.46 ranks #76 in the nation and #7 in the Pac-10.

4. He is currently rated lower than QBs such as Tate Forcier (#73 - freshman who got benched), Greg Paulus (#65 - hasn't played football in over four years), Terrelle Pryor (#54 - being labeled as a bust by some), and Landry Jones (#42 - Oklahoma's backup QB).

5. His completion percentage thus far in 2009 is a mediocre 56.2%, which is also a career high.

6. His legendary running skills have resulted in a total of 183 total yards in 2009, which is an average of 22.9 yards per game and 2.7 yards per carry.

7. Washington's record against their "Northwest Rivals" (Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington State) in games that Locker has played stands at 0-5.

8. Locker has never led Washington to a bowl game.

Locker is said to possess intangible qualities that set him above others, and yet over the course of his career at UW he has cost his team games by throwing interceptions at crucial times, drawing penalty flags for showboating after touchdowns, and recklessly dooming his team to an 0-12 season because he doesn't know how to block properly.  In 2008, he also made the decision to pass on staying around campus during the off-season to work with his receivers in favor of playing minor league baseball.  Interestingly enough, this was also the season that he was spotted on the sidelines laughing and joking while his UW teammates were being blown out, on their way to losing their fourth game in a row at the time.

The NFL Future

Now, we have NFL scouts touting Jake Locker as a potential #1 pick in the NFL draft because of his raw ability.  No surprise there.  After all, it's the same group of "experts" that made high draft choices out of such notables as Jamarcus Russell, Alex Smith, David Carr, Jeff George, Akili Smith, Tim Couch, Heath Shuler, Rick Mirer, and Ryan Leaf.  Who would you rather have leading your team, Jake Locker or Vince Young?  Vince Young was a better college player, is bigger, less injury-prone, and faster….and he has been a bust in the NFL.  Would you take Vince Young as the #1 pick in the NFL draft?

Everyone, myself included, can acknowledge that Jake Locker has a unique set of skills that makes him a dangerous college football player.  That said, he has never lived up to the hype that he receives and is not a proven winner.

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