Jake Locker's Draft Status: Is He Still a First-Round Pick?

Jeremy Lookabaugh Correspondent ISeptember 30, 2010

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defeated the Huskies 56-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Washington Huskies Quarterback Jake Locker

Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Locker was the prohibited favorite to earn the No. 1 draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. 

The consensus of that choice quickly changed after Locker completed just 4-of-20 pass attempts for 71 yards with one TD and two interceptions in a 56-21 thrashing from the No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Locker, 6'2'', 232 pounds, showed his elite arm strength that NFL scouts raved over, but his lack of accuracy throughout the Nebraska game raised concerns on whether he was an NFL-ready quarterback. 

The Huskies quarterback did not look comfortable in the pocket, and hurried his throws at times. The only touchdown he threw was on a blown coverage by the Nebraska secondary in the third quarter. 

He is running the spread offense, and is struggling against one of the top college defenses, how do you think he will do against an NFL defense? 


Nebraska Secondary 

After the embarrassing defeat Locker took from Nebraska, he quickly praised the Cornhuskers defense for their strong play.

"They are the best defense I seen in college," Locker said. 

The Huskies faced an LSU defense last year, Fiesta-Bowl bound Oklahoma two years ago, and the 2007 Ohio State team that played for the National Title. These teams did not stack up to the play of the Nebraska defense. 

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian went on to tell reporters that the Nebraska defense plays the pass better than anyone in America. 

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (6'0'', 200 pounds) is the top-rated senior prospect in the nation regardless of position, and is widely considered the best corner in the country. He has the makings of a high level starting corner at the next level. 

The superiority of the Nebraska defense is not giving slack to Locker by any means, I am just saying that the Cornhuskers will be creating havoc for quarterbacks all season long. 


Long Road Ahead 

Locker struggled in his first true test against a top tier defense, but it does not get any easier for the once Heisman hopeful. 

Washington takes on No. 18 USC this week. Then, a few weeks later, they travel to undefeated No. 14 Arizona, who rank third in the nation in points against.

They then take on the No. 9 Stanford Cardinal and still travel to Eugene, Oregon to take on No. 4 Oregon Ducks in consecutive games. 

The Washington Huskies are not a very talented team to begin with, and quarterback Jake Locker is sadly over hyped. 


Future For Jake Locker 

Jake Locker is not an NFL-ready quarterback. Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck is obviously the clear favorite to earn the No. 1 selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. 

Arkansas Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett (6'6'', 240 pounds) is the second-best quarterback in the draft then maybe Jake Locker.

NFL teams should save their pick on Locker for the second round. He is a hit or miss pick. There is no certainty of how he will perform at the next level. 

He still needs time to develop as a quarterback. Sure, Locker's potential is out of this world. He has an incredible arm and is probably the fastest quarterback in the upcoming draft.