NFL Draft 2011: Is Jake Locker Destined to Be Drafted by Seattle Seahawks?

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NFL Draft 2011: Is Jake Locker Destined to Be Drafted by Seattle Seahawks?
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

When it comes to drafting a future franchise quarterback, everything must be taken into consideration. Questions like how well a quarterback can accurately throw the ball down field, how they can handle getting away from pressure or whether or not they have the overall will and determination to win in the NFL.

The question that is sometimes overlooked though is simply whether or not a quarterback is the right fit for both the team and where the organization is headed. 

For highly regarded draft eligible quarterback Jake Locker, this last question could play the biggest factor for one team in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft: The Seattle Seahawks.

Locker, 22, was not only a four-year standout at the University of Washington, but also grew up in the Washington city of Ferndale, some 98 miles outside Seattle.

With the Huskies this past season, Locker completed 55.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,265 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading Washington to a Holiday Bowl victory over Nebraska.

As it stands today, Locker looks like he could fall anywhere between the end of the first round or the beginning of the second round in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Seahawks currently hold the No. 25 overall pick. Could they make a run at their hometown kid? Absolutely.

For the Seattle Seahawks though, they still have yet to answer one big question: Are they finally ready to pass the quarterback torch from longtime quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to a potential franchise player like Locker?

At 35 years old, Hasselbeck still has what it takes to lead Seattle under center for a few more seasons. He had yet another solid year with Seattle in 2010, throwing for 3,001 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading the Seahawks to a NFC West Division "title."

It's hard to forget the game Hasselbeck had in the first round of the playoffs this past January, when the three-time Pro Bowler threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns to shock the football world by upsetting the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

But how much does a hometown quarterback like Locker change what Hasselbeck has done just one year ago?

With next season being Carroll's second as head coach, fans ultimately have to wonder when he will pull the plug on Hasselbeck's great NFL career and turn to a new franchise quarterback—a decision that will more than likely be made by Carroll himself.

Locker may have actually punched his ticket into the first round after a great performance at the NFL Combine last weekend. He not only finished tied for third among quarterbacks running a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash, but was the best quarterback in the three-cone drill, running it in 6.77 seconds.

To put it in a better perspective, the other quarterback Locker was tied with in the 40-yard dash was Auburn star Cam Newton, who very well could be taken with the first overall pick this April.

There is still a month between now and the 2011 NFL Draft, so anything is possible. Even if Locker is drafted by his hometown team, he will probably not start right away.

If he is in fact Seattle's new quarterback though, fans will be waiting, not only waiting to see him lead their team for the next decade, but waiting in line to buy Jake Locker No. 10 Seahawks jerseys.

 

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