Hey, Music City. I'm a Seattle fan, diehard Husky football follower, figured I'd be the first to FanPost our collective applause/jealousy. User Mataya posted the video of the final drive of the 2009 UW-USC game here, and I'm concerned that you folks may not have seen it.
Watch the above video. Probably one of the biggest upsets of the past decade - a Washington team coming off an 0-12 season knocking off #3 USC. On the winning drive, Jake slings two in-the-pocket NFL-quality throws and then one Jake Locker throw - pocket collapses up the middle in seconds, he sprints right and nails Kearse 25 yards downfield before getting shoved to the turf. That's what you have to look forward to. More on why you don't need to stress about the pick being a reach after the jump.
You're going to hear plenty about what a great guy he is - and it's warranted - but something that gets lost in the shuffle [maybe because he's an all-american white kid from a small town that may as well piss milk and emanate courage] is that he's a freak athlete. I don't know if I can stress this enough. You're getting someone with the body and athleticism of young Donovan McNabb. Quoth Jerry Brewer:
Locker ran a 4.59 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and he seems to play faster than that in actual games. But he's not all about speed. He's a strong and powerful quarterback. He won't be doing this in the NFL if he knows what's good for him, but he ran over linebackers and safeties in college. Elite NFL pass rushers could have a difficult time taking him down because of his strength and elusiveness. In that sense, it's kind of like trying to tackle a guy with traces of Ben Roethlisberger's strength and Michael Vick's elusiveness.
Locker slimmed down from the 2008
debacle season, too. He was walking around at 235 per this article, an interesting piece from a local mag before the season from hell. He's a big, strong dude who played really smart with the running-over-people aspect of his game while playing hurt last year. He's still got some Sweetness in him, but he's much better at sliding than he was freshman year. Durability shouldn't be a concern. Stubbornness might be - he came back into the Holiday Bowl really quickly after taking a gnarly hit.
Copypasting myself from a facebook discussion with a skeptical Titans fan:
This was Bizarro Draft because no one could trade players so QB price got really inflated as you may have noticed. With 3 other teams picking QBs in the first 12, Locker most definitely would not have been there mid-first. Pretty sure the Vikings would have picked him over Ponder, Redskins might've picked him too.
Not a value pick, but a good one. Chris Johnson is going to be a monster next year with Locker running bootlegs off stretch plays. I don't know what Munchak and Palmer do offensively but they should run that 10 times a game.
Remember, this was a dude the draft morons called a No.1 pick after his junior year in a draft that had Ndamakong Suh and Bradford, etc. in it. All he did was get injured and play another season in a pro-style offense.
He's gonna be good. Let yourselves enjoy it.