Jake Locker misfires just twice at Washington Pro Day

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The biggest pre-draft criticism of Jake Locker is the former Washington Huskies quarterback’s failure to consistently demonstrate accuracy, particularly inside the pocket. In 40 college starts, Locker completed just 53.92 percent of his passes. It’s the lowest mark among quarterbacks likely to be drafted this April.

He was much better at Wednesday’s Pro Day.

Locker completed 40-of-42 attempts, and his only misfires were on throws of 50 or more yards downfield. He did place three short passes high of his intended target, but Huskies receivers hauled them in.

Locker’s Pro Day performance compared favorably to that of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who completed 50-of-60 throws on March 8. Blaine Gabbert went 44-for-49 at the Missouri Pro Day, Andy Dalton 49-of-52 for TCU, and Colin Kaepernick 36-for-38 at Nevada.

After viewing the workout, former Rams and Panthers personnel man Tony Softli predicted that Locker would be the “third QB off the board,” and called him a “possible top-ten pick.”

ESPN’s Brock Huard, another Washington alum, said Locker “aced the test” and that “this is as good as I’ve ever seen him throw.”

Locker’s pre-draft schedule is far from over. He met with the Jaguars immediately after Wednesday’s Pro Day, and per our Visits and Workouts Tracker, Locker is scheduled for a private workout with the Titans on Thursday. The Broncos will work out Locker on Friday.

He’s already worked out for the Vikings (March 15), will officially visit the Titans in April, and will also work out at some point for the Seahawks.

Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay project Locker to be Seattle’s first-round pick at No. 25 overall.

49 responses to “Jake Locker misfires just twice at Washington Pro Day

  1. Shocking that a former Washington QB would have nothing but good things to say about Jake Locker. Pro Day accuracy is meaningless. Teams are going to care much more about the mediocre inaccurate stats he put up in college. He’s going to fall to the 2nd round much like Jimmy Clausen last year. Bet on it.

  2. Still say he’ll end up being better than Newton and Gabbert, even if it takes a couple years.

  3. He just made himself millions(maybe). All depends on a possible rookie wage scale.

  4. Aced the test? I though the test was playing in games. On the field, he was a C student for the last two years. That’s a top ten candidate?

  5. And with the 10th pick in the draft, the Washington Redskins select:

    Jake Locker from the University of Washington.

  6. Barring something stupid, and barring Gabbert falling to #10, Locker is & should be our guy.

  7. A lot of the problems with his accuracy probably stemmed from the fact that Washington had an absolutely terrible offensive line for most of Locker’s career. That’s also how he lost so much time as a QB to injury.

  8. ESPN’s Brock Huard, another Washington alum, said Locker “aced the test” and that “this is as good as I’ve ever seen him throw.”

    Makes sense. He looks like the real deal without those pesky defensive players getting in the way

  9. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says:
    Mar 30, 2011 4:58 PM
    Vikings will take him at #12 if he’s there.

    As a Lions fan…..please please please let that happen

  10. terrellochouno says: “Barring something stupid, and barring Gabbert falling to #10, Locker is & should be our guy.”

    Fine. But who’s ‘our’? You neglected to mention which team…

  11. snowpea84 says:
    Mar 30, 2011 4:57 PM
    Could you please stop using completion percentage as an accuracy rating.

    Exactly what should one use as an accuracy rating then? If a low completion percentage isn’t indicative of a QB’s accuracy (or lack thereof), what is?

  12. Yeah, I’d draft a QB based on his pro day. How did that work out for the Raiders?

  13. snowpea84 says:
    Mar 30, 2011 4:57 PM
    Could you please stop using completion percentage as an accuracy rating.

    Snowpea did you mean stop using pro day completion percentage as indication of accuracy? That would make sense, but using his, you know, actual completion percentage in games as a guage of accuracy is exactly what it is.

  14. … and what does being able to throw to receivers while playing in shorts have to do with reading defenses, and throwing accurately under pressure? I’d be impressed if he was trying out for my flag football team.

  15. Big deal, he can complete passes in shorts.

    Go watch game tape and then come back here and tell me your impressed.

  16. rovibe says:
    Mar 30, 2011 5:26 PM
    terrellochouno says: “Barring something stupid, and barring Gabbert falling to #10, Locker is & should be our guy.”

    Fine. But who’s ‘our’? You neglected to mention which team…

    Rovibe, what do you mean he forgot to mention which team? Which team drafts #10? The ‘Skins. Duh. But please Skins DO NOT draft Locker. We already went down this road with Ramsey(and by we I mean the Skins). Ramsey was another very very strong armed quarterback who was supposed to be tough and intelligent. Which he was, but he was terribly innacurate(maybe because he was always on his back).

  17. A good pro day makes up for an entire year of bad game film? I’m glad my team doesn’t need a quarterback.

    He might Tim Tebow his way into the bottom of the first, but if he makes it into the top 10 I’ll be very very shocked.

  18. All I needed to know about locker I saw in the 2 games against the corn huskers. Locker has bust written all over him

  19. @thereisalwaysnextyear

    There is alot more involved in a completion percentage than where and how a qb throws the ball. The time afforded by the o-line, the quality of the receivers being thrown to, and the situations the ball is being thrown in spring to mind as a few minor things that could affect it.

  20. So, in perfect climate conditions of a dome, no crowd noise, no pads, no annoying things such as very large men trying to smash him into the turf or defenders breaking up passes, Locker can pass for 95%. Wow just wow! Sign him up! No need to view insignificant things such as game tape where he only completed ~54% of his passes. Nah.

  21. Snowpea, I played quarterback. I understand all that, but it is what it is. Just like a running back that averages 3.0 yards per carry might not have a great quarterback so they stack the box. it’s still his average and it will hurt him. Excuses are just that. Please take a look at that link I posted above and you’ll see that based on starting more than 36 games with a 53% completion percentage puts Locker in the company of McNown, Jaskson(of the Vikings), Losman, Boller, Carter(formerly of the cowboys), and Leaf. That is NOT good company. All those guys had the physical tools according to many, but NONE had the accuracy to get it done in the NFL.

  22. For anyone that watched any of Jakes games this year would know that poor line play and dropped passes were a big part of his low completion %. So I agree with snowpea84 in that there is A LOT more that goes into it, so you can just look at the end result for your answer.

  23. Snowpea, I forgot to put in my last post. I’m not arguing with you that he shouldn’t be drafted. Obviously he should. I just don’t think he’s a first round pick, and not a top half first round pick. I just think that his accuracy(in games, not shorts) is a big enough red flag to drop him to the second round. I do agree there are many variables that add up to the completion percentage. Just like this year Eli Manning had a ridiculous amount of tipped interceptions.

  24. Isn’t there a site that has an “adjusted comp %” stat? You know, one that takes into account WR drops, throwing the ball away, and being hit as he throws…. I’m sure I’ve seen it before, I just can’t remember where.

    Not that I’m defending Locker, I have as many doubts as the next guy, but since we’re hung up on his comp % here right now, it might be relevant to take something like that into account when proclaiming his accuracy issues.

  25. Southernman if I have to explain it to you then you clearly know nothing about football.

  26. brutus9448 says:
    Mar 30, 2011 5:49 PM
    All I needed to know about locker I saw in the 2 games against the corn huskers. Locker has bust written all over him

    Indeed. 4 for 20 against a college defense. And people actually think he’s going to fare better in the pros? Seriously?

  27. southernman9999 says: Mar 30, 2011 5:56 PM

    broncfanor & bradley – if the Pro Days are no big deal, then explain why 200 coaches, scouts & GM’s attened the one today?


    It’s called due dilligence. There’s also a lot more than completion %’s these coaches/scouts are looking at (mechanics, arm strength, their response to coaching). Completing passes they are SUPPOSED to complete really means nothing … unless of course they DON’T complete them! I’m just saying … the players are supposed to do well in a setting like this, and from the end of actual college football games up to the draft, they’re looking at 2 things – 1) confirmation of things they see on tape and 2) the “intangibles” (personality, leadership, coach-ability, etc). If they want to know how good the kid can play football … they’ll look at his actual game film. No scout is stupid enough to believe a 95% completion alone in a pro-day means a guy can hack it in the NFL.

  28. Ok let me get this right…

    He throws 54% in pads vs the Pac 10 defense.

    Without pads and defenders, he misses only 2 passes.

    If the game is played in pads and his completion percentage 54%, then what does it matter if he misses 2 passes in a controlled environment?

    The guys who used to win the NFL QB challenge were the QBs that didn’t do well in actual games, and Jake Locker is one of them.

  29. snowpeas, I’m not sure why they post my post then keep deleting it, but take a look at this and see the number of college starts and completion percentage to see what I was talking about earlier about who he compares with.

  30. We have been hearing this junk about how great Jake Locker looked in practice for years. It is nothing new for Locker to reportedly look good on a practice field or even in pre-game warm-ups.

    It was always playing in those darned games on Saturdays that made him look bad. Recount the ways from a few of last season’s Pac-10 stats for Locker as the leader of the UW offense:
    • Passing efficiency – ranked #8 of 10; last among the eight starting QBs who completed the season.
    • Red zone offense – #9 of 10 for frequency in RZ and for TDs in RZ. Two Ints in RZ.
    • Third down conversions – 32.1%; the lowest conversion rate in the Pac-10.
    • Scoring offense – ranked #8 of 10.

    If Locker is such a great QB, can anyone explain why he was never named Pac-10 MVP or All-Conference QB, either 1st or 2nd Team—ever? But UW ran one heck of a Heisman campaign for him in 2010.

    If he didn’t have such good receivers, who caught many more bad passes than they ever dropped, his passing stats would not have been even as good as they were. Fully 1/4 to 1/3 of his completions were too high, behind the receiver, and/or exposed the receiver to being hammered—but the receiver caught the ball in spite of the throw, not because of it.

    Most of his passing yardage was YAC after a completion near the line of scrimmage, not from down the field completions—because he cannot consistently hit receivers down the field in a game —especially from the pocket.

  31. blkmanwtan says: “The guys who used to win the NFL QB challenge were the QBs that didn’t do well in actual games, and Jake Locker is one of them.”


    Gotta disagree with that one. These QB’s have all been past QB Challenge winners. Lots of Pro Bowls, a couple MVP awards, and some Super Bowls on this list:

    2005 Jake Delhomme
    2004 Matt Hasselbeck
    2003 Brad Johnson
    2002 Jeff Garcia
    2001 Trent Dilfer
    1998 Jim Harbaugh
    1997 Vinny Testaverde
    1995 Randall Cunningham
    1994 Randall Cunningham
    1993 Jeff Hostetler
    1992 Dan Marino
    1991 Dan Marino
    1990 Ken O’Brien

  32. Locker led his team to wins over two ranked teams, including in a bowl game, with a horrible line and worse receivers.

    The one thing you can say about this kid is that he knows what it’s like to deal with adversity.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to rate him beyond that. Some of his passes simply looked bad, but with 41 or 43 drops (I’ve heard both numbers) and lord knows how many throw-aways due to no one open…it’s just hard to gauge what his completion percentage really should have been.

    I definitely like his character more than Newton or Mallett, and his work-ethic is MILES above Cam Newton and his used car salesman smile.

  33. olskool711 says:
    Mar 30, 2011 8:40 PM
    Brady Quinn had an incredible pro day.

    You’re right. And the knock on Brady is that he can’t get the ball down the field. PFT pointed out that Locker’s two incomplete balls were down the field(if you can’t hit them when no one is rushing or covering, good luck in game situations). They also pointed out many balls were inacurate, but WR made great catches.

  34. All u Cam Newton haters need to recognize that Cam is only being used as a lightening rod to shield the media choosen boy, Blaine. The PR hype before and after his Pro-Day was treated like the President coming to town and it made me wonder why is the Senior writer of this site even needed to attack Cam’s character to still help Blaine. One would think with all the tongue bathing this site, ESPN, and the NFL Network gave him he would pull ahead of Cam with no problem. I’m so rooting for Jake, Cam and Mallette. Blaine already have the media on his side.

  35. jake locker is a beast and washington will trade back in the draft and pick him up in the first round. Locker will develop into the best quarterback coming out of this year’s draft .

  36. Evidently, the three NFL Network commentators who covered Locker’s workout today were not impressed. They said even though the workout consisted of easy throws, Locker showed he still has trouble with placement of the football.

    They all agreed Locker is a project who should not be taken before the third round because of his sub-par decision-making and low completion percentage. (The former feeds the latter.)

    One former NFL GM said the notion of Locker being the #1 overall pick in last year’s draft was emphatically “not close” to reality.

    While they acknowledge that it takes only one guy to fall in love with Locker and take him in the 1st round next month, they said he is “not ready for that” in terms of what would be expected of him as a Top 10 choice.

    Pete Carroll was the only NFL head coach on hand. Other NFL coaches and decision makers apparently were conspicuous by their absence.

  37. I can tell you right now, he’s probably not falling to 25, and if he does I think the Seahawks will take Andy Dalton or Christian Ponder over Locker. He’ll probably go between 10-20, most likely Washington, Minnesota or Jacksonville. I think the QBs may fall though, one will be taken top 10, maybe Cam falls to Minnesota and then the Jags take Locker 16th.

  38. Baldegle6-
    That part about not many teams there struck me. Also the fact he didn’t have a lot of team visits scheduled . Could mean most teams have already made up their mind on him one way or the other. My guess is it isn’t the good way. I think deep in his own heart he may not think he’s a first rounder or a 15 or above anyway since hes already said he will be home with family on draft day.
    It’s really a shame because of all the Qbs in this draft, he has the best personality IMO…but I don’t think he will be successful in the NFL. That’s the kind of story that breaks my heart. I always want to see the good kids do well.

  39. Gotta love it when people make excuses for QB’s with a poor completion percentage. It’s ALWAYS the receivers fault. So should we give the receivers the credit for QB’s with high completion percentages?

  40. CKL–

    Completely agree with your comment. If character was the only requirement to be a top-flight QB, Jake would be a lock for NFL All-Pro. By all accounts, Jake is an exceptionally fine young man.

    Personally, I believe his accuracy issues are not so much mechanical (footwork, arm position, etc.) but his apparent inability to quickly process what he sees and then solve the problem with the correct passing decision and throw.

    He will land on his feet somewhere, but it may not be as a long-term NFL starter.

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