At this point in time, you may or may not be aware that the Tennessee Titans have selected Jake Locker eighth overall in this year's draft. QB was a position of need, Mike Reinfeldt liked what he saw, and they pulled the trigger. Locker's a hard worker, he's a talented kid, and a natural born leader. We all know that. But were you aware that Jake Locker also bends light with his arm?
He also splits atoms when his short/intermediate routes reach his receiver's hands. No lie, Locker was originally going to test the waters of the MLB and try his hand at pitching, but the poor radar gun didn't have four digits. This guy is something special. The alleged accuracy issues? I'm calling it right now: "OVER-RATED! *clap-clap-clapclapclap.*" On an unrelated note, Jake Locker is the guy that asked his coach if he could play safety after injuring himself playing QB to see if he could still help out the team. He wills his team to victory. The Washington Huskies were the worst team in D-1 football when he didn't play and it wasn't even close. In 2010, two years after having lost every single game on the schedule, they won a bowl game. Just sayin'.
We've been reminded time and time again that Locker is "INNACURATE CAUSE OF LOUSY COMPLETION %!" To that, I would say that completion percentage doesn't automatically equate to accurate in the NFL just as inaccurate in college won't equate to long term inaccuracy in the pros. Plus, if you checked the morning links, you'd notice that I'm not alone when I think that Gabbert secretly has more issues than Locker.
"Gabbert has bigger accuracy issues than Locker," Miller said. "Cincinnati, Arizona, San Fransisco and Tennessee passed on Gabbert. And Washington traded out of 10..."
Now, I'm no scout, but it's not exactly a shining review when five teams in the top 10 with severe needs at QB pass on the so called top passer in the draft. Can he be groomed? Probably, but as long as we're talking grooming QB's here, why not take the guy who's still pretty raw, but who has made enormous strides since becoming a pro-style QB only two years ago and was projected to go number one overall in most mock drafts in a draft with Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh? No? You'd rather have Sunshine's stunt double? I mean, I've heard of one year wonders, but Gabbert wasn't even a good quarterback this year. At least Fairley roughed up the SEC a little bit before we proclaimed him the next big thing at DT. No? Still on board? Well, ok, if you insist, it's your funeral Del Rio. Hey, look on the bright side, I hear LA is very nice during the fall. Actually, you're probably getting canned in week 8 anyway so I don't know why you'd even care.
Now, Locker ended up going earlier than Gabbert, but somewhere off screen, Mel Kiper's head exploded. The crowd went wild, and not in a good way. NFL Network called it the "first big shocker" of the '11 draft right after the Falcons sold their souls for Julio Jones and the Niners reached for the stars and picked Aldon Smith. I mean...really? I'm the only one who's kind of surprised by all of this? The guy played half the year with broken ribs and found the end zone just as many times as the golden boy up there, why shouldn't he go before Gabbert?
Perhaps my favorite endorsement of Locker is from our old buddy Frank Wycheck who compares him to the G.O.A.T., Steve McNair. If that's not enough to win you over, well...check yourself, enough with the hard-to-get attitude, your're harshing my mellow big time. You guys wanted the anti-Young? Well, you've got him. Jake understands the importance of working hard in, get this, his free time in order to gain long-term benefits that translate into better on field performance. I know, crazy right? Guess that's why you're working the grill and he's leading the team to glory huh? No you moron I said well done.**
So after all this, you'd still like to bash Locker for his accuracy issues, right? Let me just leave you with this: does a guy who works this hard strike you as someone who's gonna let a few numbers from college stop him from being the best QB in this class? I swear, he's Tebow-esque out there when it comes to dedication to his craft. Oh, and you better believe there's a Cam Newton-sized chip on his shoulder. I'd like to point out, again, that this guy was a lock for the number one pick last year with Sam Bradford entering the draft. Who the hell is Cam Newton to come through and take that away from him? For crying out loud on the auto-tagger, it says that Newton's a safety. I mean, he's a supremely talented player that will sell seats, but I'll eat my hat if he has a better career or wins a Super Bowl before Locker. That's right, I just went there, call me Dan Gilbert.
** Dear Vince's posse, don't kill me, thanks.