Advancing Jake Locker's pro day

March, 29, 2011
3/29/11
4:33
PM ET
Living in the Pacific Northwest creates travel challenges much of the time, but not Wednesday.

[+] EnlargeJake Locker
Douglas C. Pizac/US PresswireWashington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, left, believes Jake Locker has a bright NFL future.
Quarterback Jake Locker's pro day at the University of Washington makes for a relatively short drive. I'll be heading over there for the action, which ESPN3.com will carry at 2 p.m. ET

Three of four NFC West teams approach the 2011 NFL draft with unsettled quarterback situations. My plan Wednesday is to explore how Locker would or would not fit in the division. If you've got thoughts, please share them. I'll incorporate them in the piece I put together Wednesday.

Locker's perceived stock lacks definition within the first couple rounds.

I'm not sure what Locker can accomplish at a pro day. Throwing well in a controlled environment seemingly would not alleviate well-established concerns about accuracy. Throwing poorly would reinforce those perceptions.

Locker's college coach, Steve Sarkisian, summed up Locker this way when speaking with reporters Tuesday:
"My view of Jake Locker as a pro-style quarterback is that he is a true sophomore coming out early going in the NFL draft. He's had two years in a pro-style offense of learning the nuances of this thing, from the drops to the protections to the coverages to the route recognition, the reading, the route adjustments that all have to take place, the fundamentals that it takes.

"To me, his upside is huge. Whoever gets him is going to get a player that continues to deveop and is going to work at it and they are going to get someone who is a tremendous leader, not only on the field but off the field, in the community, which matters, and someone who is going to be mature enough to step into the huddle with a 10-, 12-year, 13-year, 14-year veteran and call the play with conviction, and execuate a play -- especially late in games.

"I think so much with Jake that got missed here for us, if you look at the way he performed in the fourth quarter, especially in final drives over the last two years, those were special plays and special drives. You watch the NFL on Sundays, how many times games come down to that final drive, and he's got that ability to make plays in the final drive that ultimately win games, that ultimately win playoff games, that ultimately win Super Bowls. I think that is why he is going to be special down the road."

Quarterbacks drafted early become long-term investments. They're also expected to play sooner, not later. If Locker needs some seasoning, being drafted a bit later could help his career by reducing the pressure to produce right away. Sarkisian seemed to acknowledge as much with his comments about the exceptionally athletic Locker being in the early stages of development as a pro-style quarterback.

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