NFL Draft 2011: Is Drafting Cam Newton Ahead of Jake Locker a Mistake?

Robert WayerskiCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2011

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies scrambles against the Stanford Cardinal on October 30, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. Stanford won 41-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With his impressive performance this season, Cam Newton has launched himself towards the top of many teams draft boards. He is not a polished NFL prospect but his great athleticism has teams drooling over the thought of getting their hands on him.The current obsession with Cam Newton has made me wonder; when did everyone forget about Jake Locker?

Locker and Newton are both going to be projects, so why is Newton more highly regarded? Lets look at a comparison of the two players.

Newton: 6'5" 248lbs 9 7/8" hands. 4.59 40 yard dash, 35" vertical, 10'6" broad jump, 6.92 cone drill, 4.18 20 yard shuttle

Locker: 6'3" 231lbs 9 5/8" hands. 4.59 40 yard dash, 35" vertical, 10" broad jump 6.77 cone drill, 4.12 20 yard shuttle

As you can see by their combine measurements, both QBs have big arms and are athletic. So what in the last year has vaulted Newton so far ahead of Locker? I think the answer is that Cam Newton led his team to a national championship and much like Tim Tebow, his stock is rising because he is considered a winner.

While Jake Locker may not have achieved the same success on the field, you have to like his heart and desire to win. He went back to Washington to try and win a bowl game. The Huskies and Locker did not have their dream season but they did accomplish that goal.

Locker is a work in progress. He, like Cam Newton, needs to learn to rely on his arm instead of his legs. Unlike Newton, he has had experience taking snaps from under center and reading defenses. Most of his problems can be fixed by coaching and minor tweaks in his mechanics. 

Cam Newton is an unbelievable athlete and with some work might become a very good NFL quarterback. But it is going to take a lot of work. Maybe the NFL teams should look more at Locker who is also a great athlete and is more pro ready