Kiper says Locker would’ve gone No. 4 overall last year

Getty Images’s Peter King led off this morning’s MMQB with quotes from ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, who last April claimed Washington quarterback Jake Locker was “etched in stone” as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

But Locker isn’t under consideration for the top pick this year. And there is even belief that Locker’s accuracy issues could keep him out of the first round altogether.

Kiper indicated to King that Locker’s decision to stay in school for his senior season was a big mistake. Colossal, really, if it’s true that Locker will fall to the second round.

“Imagine if he came out last year,” Kiper said in MMQB. “I think he would’ve gone number four overall to Washington, and the Redskins never would have traded for Donovan McNabb. But (Locker) comes back and struggles, and who knows where he’s going.”

Kiper’s comments bring to mind a statement he made in a January conference call.

“I know (Redskins coach Mike Shanahan) had a high opinion of Locker last year,” Kiper said earlier this offseason. “There was all that speculation that they would’ve taken him at No. 4 if he had come out.”

Let’s connect some dots. If Shanahan was high enough on Locker to draft him fourth overall last year, he’s probably going to give Locker strong consideration at No. 10 this year.  Locker’s senior season really wasn’t that bad, at least relative to past performances. His touchdown-to-interception ratio and passer rating were similar to his junior season, and Locker took fewer sacks and won more games in 2010.

We’re not buying speculation that Locker will fall out of round one. (Neither is King.) Locker’s intangibles and physical tools are as impressive as any quarterback in the 2011 class, and NFL teams look favorably upon quarterbacks that played in pro-style college offenses like Locker did for Steve Sarkisian.

Our last mock draft had Jake Locker going No. 10 to Washington.

Our next mock will have the same.

42 responses to “Kiper says Locker would’ve gone No. 4 overall last year

  1. I personally never was high on Locker. He had some decent games, and has all the physical tools, but when I watched him play it seemed as if he compensated for his inaccuracy (and not the greatest decisions throwing the ball) with his legs.

    I don’t know how that would translate to the NFL, but he clearly isn’t in the league of Andrew Luck or even Mallett this past season, IMO.

    Again, I’m not a scout, and I’ve watched only a handful of games with Locker playing, but at this point I’d agree with the article that he’s not a high prospect.

  2. Shanahan will trade out if possible? Locker @ 10 seems to high…Maybe 17 0r 28???
    Reed @ 17??? as they say at ESPN come on Man?

  3. Locker scored a 20 on the Wonderlic. With an extra year to study. Absolutely no way he would have gone #4 overall.

  4. Yeah but if the Skins are the only buyer and there are 2 QB’s ahead of him, wouldn’t it make sense for the Skins to trade down to the 20’s and take him then?

  5. “If Shanahan was high enough on Locker to draft him fourth overall last year,….”

    He was high on something. Wasted several picks on a quarterback he ultimately discarded in favor of another SB loser.

    If he takes Locker in the first round, it’s safe to say his scouting acumen is about as sharp as a bowling ball.

  6. This meme is based from a tweet from a Redskins blogger. Locker isn’t the type of QB Shanny targets, nor have they been working him out(they are working out Newton and Andy Dalton).

    And yes, Locker’s senior year was that bad. He was splitting time with a true freshman.

  7. THey would have found the same problem last year as they did this year……UNLIKE THOSE WHO WRITE ABOUT the art of scouting, the actual scouts, and coaches know what they are doing.

  8. Kiper needs to hang it up. Lots of guys are “etched in stone” until their workouts don’t go well. Locker would have magically hidden his accuracy issues during workouts last year? If the Redskins liked him last year, they’ll probably be interested in him this year, too.

  9. “I think he would’ve gone number four overall to Washington, and the Redskins never would have traded for Donovan McNabb.”

    Didn’t the Skins trade for McNabb BEFORE the draft? I doubt they don’t trade for someone because of a prospect who has decided not to come out for the draft, especially at the #4 pick, where’s it’s definitely possible they get a crack at the top rated QB.

  10. I think Locker would make a fine pick at #10, even if it’s earlier than people are expecting. If Joe Flacco, Tim Tebow, and J.P. Losman can be first-round picks, Locker can be a top-ten pick. I think he’d be a good deal anywhere from there on, too, because most of his statistical problems have been due to the horrible overall team Washington has had.

  11. I don’t know that you can make the assumption that Locker wouldn’t have fallen in combine and workouts last season like he did during actual games played this season.

    That being said, he would have probably been a first round pick last year, but I would be surprised if he was this year, the game tape and workout performance has put too many doubts on his ability on the next level.

  12. Ok..this is quite enough. The fact that this guy has a career predicting the NFL draft is weird enough. Now he is plugging guys in different years? Where would Joe Montana have gone in 1961? I am continually amazed by the absurdity surrounding the NFL draft.

  13. @burntorangehorn

    Just a thought here, but Tebow rode the pine most of last year.

    Losman went to the UFL and then was called up to the majors again so he could ride the pine.

    As for equating Flacco with Locker, I think you’re comparing an apple to an orange there.

    But hey, sure. Anything can happen. It’d be nice to see Locker try to figure out Shanny’s system behind that line.

    The rest of the NFC East will thank him for it.

  14. “We’re not buying speculation that Locker will fall out of round one.”


    Who’s we? We is you, but essentially, you’re saying that the other writers of PFT agree with you. You’re stating an opinion, therefore, simply change your writing to reflect that.

    “I’m not buying speculation that Locker will fall out of round one.”

  15. Mel Kipper saying this kid can go 10 overall in this years draft = Hey I’m friends with his agent and I don’t wana look bad for saying he was a top pick last year!

    No way round 2 for Locker and thats in a Draft the the QB class is week, any other year it would be round 3.

    He was over hyped plain and simple like a lot of players!

  16. Listening to his coach and staying for another year has cost him tens of millions of dollars.
    No disputing that fact.

  17. The #10 pick this year will probably as much as the #4 pick last year. The Trent Williams pick is 1000x better than Locker would have been.

  18. @akhhorus, get your facts straight before you start bangin on the keyboard. First off, locker is an ideal shanny qb, a rollout, bootleg guy ala plummer. Second, locker was never at anytime splitting time with a true freshmen. He missed one game due to injury, at which time a redshirt frosh started. Come on guy.

  19. eaglesfan290,

    You know what else is “week?” Your grammar and spelling skills.

    The intelligence of the posters on here is comical at times. A place to rant with no worry of true criticism, because you’ll never meet the guy criticizing! I can guarantee half of you have never seen him play. You are just formulating your opinions off of others who formulated theirs. It’s sad really, that people can’t have their own opinions. Don’t just type to type, if you can’t offer something productive or humorous, then don’t comment. People that are true fans and follow this sort of thing can see through your ignorance.

    Locker will be the best QB taken in the first round. Note it. (Notice I said first round? His competition is Newton, Gabbert, and maybe Mallett. Ponder and Dalton may end up as the superior QBs here…)

    What’s funny is the very people who dislike or thumbs down this post, will be the ones I’m talking about. We know who you are!

  20. @brazy44 this is what irks me the most. Locker was never told by his coach to stay. Hemade the decision. And having been around the program for a while, I know what type of guy locker is. When he says he isn’t worried about how much money he might have lost staying, he truly is not concerned. As hard as it may be to believe this day and age, he is a very genuine guy who just isn’t concerned with the egotistical crap. Winning a holiday bowl and having that experience was very much worth it for
    him. I just wish people could
    accept that, rather they want to insist he should hve left school for the money. If more people had the thinking Jake does regarding that stuff, our world would be a better place.

  21. And if Sandra Bullock would just have asked me to accompany her to the Oscars last year, we would have had a really good time……

    But she was married at the time, and, even though she is one of the most beautiful and talented women on the screen today, she still found time to adopt a little boy….

    Makes as much sense as anything Kiper has ever had to say.

  22. why does everyone look at from locker’s perspective? just think about if he DID come out last year…the team that drafted him high woulda been screwed. every team at the top of the draft last year that was considering him should be thanking their lucky stars he stayed in school.

  23. packerrube13, funny how you criticize others yet your doing the same thing. Your posting as if your the authority on QB’s.

    First off I’m from the Pacific NW and I HAVE watched Locker. His accuracy is poor (blame the receivers all you want), he has poor footwork and he has a tendency to panic when things break down.

    As for him being the best QB in the first round that’s like saying a Pinto is better than a pull cart.

    Locker will be a decent backup.

  24. He should have come out last year. His senior year at UW cost him lots of money. But I’m sure the team that would have taken him is now breathing a little better not to having wasted the pick.

  25. Broncfanor,

    I am saying I HAVE seen him play, unlike over half of the people here. Poor accuracy is always relative to those around you as well. (Not saying he is completely blameless, but a lot of the small mechanical issues and footwork issues would be resolved thanks to an NFL coaching staff) His WRs sucked, his o-line sucked, his team sucked. He will be the best QB out of this first round. Want to do a review with me of the other 3 likely to go in round one? Let’s do it. (I respect your opinion because you have actually seen these guys play, unlike the unemployed regulars on this page who act as if they know it all, but really just read Kiper, Mayock, McShay, etc)

    Newton- Need I say more? More inaccurate than Locker, no mechanics, Doesn’t look past first read, has one good year of game film, has a questionable past, a shaky personality, is egotistic, even by NFL/NCAA standards, and he has a bigger desire to be an off the field star than an on the field one. I know the comparisons to J-Russ are overused and pretty inaccurate, but think Vince Young (if I can use another African America QB with a similar style) just less polished. Yuck. I wouldn’t touch him any where in the top 20. Especially if I needed a QB right away. (Bengals, Bills, Cards, Panthers, NO!) He is riding the potential train, and those usually train wreck for top ten picks

    Gabbert- Chase Daniels played in the same offense, put up better numbers, and yet this guy is getting huge ratings and a top ten value? Please explain! In any other normal QB draft, he is in the second round and slipping like Clausen/McCoy. This guy is Alex Smith eventually. Worthless.

    Mallett, Slower than molasses. Has a nice arm, but character concerns and red flags are abundant. Also, he is definitely a drug addict. (Per sources) He has talent and is a high risk high reward prospect. But, with the drugs and character issues, he is likely to have issues.

    I’m rolling Locker, who will have receivers and coaching that are NFL caliber, instead of crappy Pac-10 caliber.

  26. does anyone really pay attention to mel ryan leaf is a better quarterback than peyton manning kiper. what a self-appointed know-it-all.

  27. Jake Locker could very well become an excellent NFL quarterback, but his 55.4% completion percentage in 2010 should be a major red flag for any team contemplating using a high pick on him.

  28. If Jake Locker had been drafted top 5, then we would have been talking about him being one of the all time busts. What does it say about the lousy talent evaluators if they had him top 5 or #1 overall last year? Face it, these guys are just guessing.

  29. In spite of intensive QB coaching since the summer after high school in 2006, Locker was still merely the #8 passer in the Pac-10 in 2010, dead last among the eight starting QBs who finished the season. He ranked #81 in FBS (Div I-A).

    He was never named as Pac-10 all-conference QB on either 1st or 2nd team–even while being hyped as the projected #1 overall pick in the NFL draft and then being hyped for the Heisman.

    He is incapable of consistently completing the usual passes from the pocket, often throwing high and/or behind the receiver–even on completions. His receivers caught many more bad throws than they ever dropped.

    Steve Sarkisian set goals of 63-65% completions, a 3:1 TD:Int ratio and completions 15-25 yards down the field. Locker came nowhere close to any of those goals in the 24 games he played for Sarkisian: <57%, 38:20 TD:Int and most passes near the line of scrimmage while depending on the WR for YAC. The "pro-type" offense Sark ran at USC went in the waste basket at UW because Locker could not run it.

    What really stood out over time was his inability to process data and do problem solving fast enough to make the right throwing decision and then act on it in a timely way.

    Locker stayed in school in 2010 primarily because in late 2009, he was notified by the NFL Collegiate Advisory Committee that his play did not rate a first round grade. The emperor had no clothes.

    Locker will certainly get drafted, but he definitely will be a project and a real crap shoot as an NFL QB prospect. I feel sorry for the ticket-holders of the team that takes him.

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