NFL Draft 2011: Gruden QB Camp: Jake Locker

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NFL Draft 2011: Gruden QB Camp: Jake Locker
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In this edition of Jon Gruden's QB Camp, the former Buccaneers head coach tutors first-round hopeful Jake Locker.

After being regarded as the top NFL prospect at this time last season, Locker returned to Washington for his senior season. In 13 games last year (including the Holliday Bowl), Locker completed just 55.4 percent of his passes for 2,265 yards, 17 TDs and nine INTs.

The 6'3", 230 pounder also added 385 yards and six rushing TDs on 114 carries.

This leads us to one of Gruden's points.

"You get hit in every game I pick up—hard," Gruden told Locker, referring to the blows he takes while scrambling out of the pocket. "Your ability to run is a weapon," he added. "But you don't want to abuse it."

Gruden prefaced this by noting Locker's previous neck, thumb, rib and thigh injuries.

The Super Bowl-winning coach raved about Locker's ability to throw on the run, rolling to either side.

The two agreed on Locker's poor accuracy (career completion percentage was 53.9), but Gruden stressed the importance of making good decisions.

In team meetings, Gruden suggested Locker take thorough notes and sit in the front row. He also helped prepare the young Washington native for code 1 blitzes (known as an automatic, all-out blitz). This led to a discussion of the empty formation—something Locker is very familiar with—and the importance of hot reads.

To conclude the meeting, Locker regurgitated three things he learned:

  • Film study, and the importance of knowing coverages
  • Be smart about running
  • Understand game situations

Locker has a big arm, incredible athleticism and a great attitude. The biggest knock on him is his lack of accuracy. He did enough in his pro day, however, to catapult him back into Mel Kiper's most recent first-round mock draft. The senior draft analyst has Locker going to Seattle with the No. 25 overall pick.

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