Projecting Jake Locker

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen some undeniable growth from Locker from 2012 to now. He has taken control of the offense and put up some great numbers. How do those numbers look over the course of the season and how do they stack up with expectations?

After removing the two missed games and looking at per game averages, Locker is currently on pace to throw for 2873 yards, 18 TDs and 7 INTs, while adding 319 yards on the ground and an additional 4 TDs. While the laws of averages simply do not apply for NFL projections, it does give us an idea of where players like Locker are currently in terms of performance. If Locker maintains his current pace and ends up with numbers similar to these, I think I would count that as a significant leap forward in his ability level as an NFL QB.

Additionally, he is completing 61.5% of his passes, and ranks highly with a 91.0 overall QB rating. While there is undoubtedly progress still to be made (which PK loves to point out constantly), I think many around the league (who actually watch football rather than box scores) have been surprised with his play so far this year.

Locker has made smart decisions with the football, and avoided forcing the ball deep into coverage. That said, he is still committing mistakes in this arena, as the Rams game clearly showed. Jake needs to continue to develop in this area of his game to prevent costly turnovers. While his overall accuracy has greatly improved (due as well to a cleaner pocket), he also has a tendency to sail passes when he can't step up. He needs to find a way to cut down on those plays, and escape the pocket more when he has no room to throw.

Speaking of escaping the pocket, I also expect the coaches to open things up for Jake a little more on the ground as he continues his recovery from hip and knee injuries. There is no doubt he is electric with the ball in his hands, and has deceptive straight line speed. In fact, I would look for them to do so against the Jags next weekend. The coaches have definitely opened up the play-book for Jake as the weeks have gone by, and that is a huge relief after a slow debut against Pittsburgh that really limited what the Titans were able to do through the air. That alone is a testimonial to his rapid growth as a player.

Locker's chemistry with Wright could be something special, and it is also encouraging that he has an up-and-coming talent like Justin Hunter in the wings for the future as well. If the Titans are able to build on the ground game they showed in St. Louis, I feel Locker will have all the more opportunity to shine. One thing there is no doubt of in my mind, is that the sky is the limit for No. 10.

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