[table "39" not found /]
Accuracy: Locker has had issues in the past with his accuracy. He showed improvement in this area last season playing in a pro-style offense but still have some concerns. Locker has the arm to make every deep pass, but his accuracy becomes inconsistent. Showed marked improvement on underneath routes but still tends to strong-arm the ball on short throws. Accuracy seems to be based more on arm strength than rhythm and touch.
Arm strength: One of Locker’s more intriguing traits is his arm strength. His arm will be one of the strongest in the 2011 draft and compares favorably to the strongest in the NFL. While arm strength isn’t necessarily the most important trait in a quarterback, it’s certainly something nice to have in the arsenal.
Athleticism/mobility: Possesses as much athleticism and mobility as someone could want in a starting quarterback. A high school baseball star, Locker clearly has athletic chops. His feet are quick and he’s agile enough to elude defenders. Reportedly runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, which is probably an exaggeration.
Decision making: In the past, Locker’s athleticism has been a detriment to his decision making. He would too quickly pull the ball down and run instead of reading his progressions. He still tends to carry that issue and gets too antsy in the pocket. This forces the line to hold their blocks longer, which leads to more pressure.
Field vision: This is the other area where Locker needs to show improvement as a senior. He is generally a one-read and throw quarterback. Against teams that can disguise coverage, Locker has issues. He needs to do a better job of working through his reads. Early in his career, Locker often had to go to his No. 1 option because the skill position at Washington were lacking. That’s the case no more, so if Locker’s field vision doesn’t improve this year, his ranking will suffer.
Mechanics: Locker’s mechanics make him just as good or better than any draft-eligible quarterback in college, especially his release. Locker tends to hold the ball low on his chest as he drops back. You’d like to see him hold it a little higher, but Locker’s next move is lightning quick. He cranks the ball back in an instant and fires it right over his ear. He doesn’t windup at any point and doesn’t waste a motion. As is the case with most college quarterback, Locker has spent most of his time in the shotgun. As he plays under center more, he’ll get more comfortable reading defenses as he drops back.
Pocket awareness/poise: As mentioned in the decision making category, Locker has a tendency to move around a lot in the pocket. Needs to show as a senior that he can set his feet, plant and throw. When he shuffles his feet, Locker’s accuracy drops considerably. Appears to feel the blitz fine. Has the strength throughout his frame to handle hits.
Final word: Quarterbacks as athletic and strong-armed as Locker don’t come around often. In his first year in head coach Steve Sarkisian’s pro-style offense, Locker improved as a pocket passer. Add his incredible ability and speed and you have a front-line football player. He showed better pocket presence in 2009 but still needs to improve in that area. He can be very good in the play action game and can throw effortlessly on the move.
Locker seems to finally be realizing his upside after being slowed by injuries as a sophomore. It’s scary, but we likely haven’t seen the best of Locker yet. If he can improve some on his touch, Locker has the look of a No. 1 overall pick.
Locker was a two-sport star in high school and was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 10th round of the MLB Draft. . Locker has had several injuries, including a broken thumb, a neck issue, a hamstring that slowed him as a sophomore and currently has an injured hand.
When you look at Locker as a whole, he smacks of a boom or bust prospect. His deficiencies – accuracy, field vision and pocket presence – are the same as quarterbacks who often bust. But it’s impossible to ignore his athleticism, arm strength, toughness and potential to improve more under Sarkisian.