Over the past two years Jake Locker has gone through a lot. He was a top prospect, then his stock took a big hit after a disappointing senior campaign and he was supposed to be drafted at the bottom of round one or the top of round two. Shockingly, the Titans made him the second QB taken (behind Newton) over the more touted prospect Blaine Gabbert.
After that, Locker was a backup to Matt Hasselbeck and he played sparingly in his first year. In year two he took the reins of the Titans offense only to find himself injured early and often. Due to a shoulder that never fully healed, Locker once again sat behind Matt Hasselbeck and watched from the sidelines.
However, over the course of these two seasons Jake Locker has managed to participate in 16 games. With a season's worth of work in the books, these are the numbers that Jake Locker has put together along with some interesting facts about each.
Completion Percentage: 55.5%
-For his first full year of work Locker was about average. Despite 25 dropped passes by his targets (more than 19 quarterbacks in the NFL last year according PFF) Locker managed to have a higher completion percentage than big name QBs like Josh Freeman and Andrew Luck.
Passing Yards: 2,718
This is an area that Locker really needs to work on. I know that this stat is partially a product of how well your WRs run after the catch, but Locker's ball placement needs to be better. In 2013 Locker will not be asked to be precise, but he will need to keep defenses honest and spaced out by making a few, well-placed long passes.
Passing TD/INT: 14 TDs & 11 INTs
This is another thing Locker needs to do better in his second year as the starter. Chris Johnson will be the focal point of this offense, but don't be surprised if near the goal line the Titans choose to bootleg Locker out and give him a a simple TE/FB/WR dump off in the endzone. With his legs and the speed and size around him, that is a tough matchup for defenses on paper.
Rushing: 49 rushes, 347 yards, 7.1 average, 2 TDs
Locker shined here. Many times a defense would have Locker dead-to-rights in the pocket and Locker would duck his head and scamper for big chunks of yards while avoiding the rush. In fact, one of his best runs came early in the game vs San Diego, but due to a suspect holding call it was called back.
Locker's legs are his most valuable asset and in 2013 the Titans will need him to show the rest of the league that. If he can solidify his decision making and quickly decide whether to run or pass then the Titans might just be alright offensively.