Last month, Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton told PFT Live that he’d be willing to allow his No. 10 to be unretired if Jake Locker can be the guy to finally give the Vikings long-term stability at the most important position on the field.
Though it’s unclear whether Locker or the Vikings would be inclined to ask, some think there’s a chance that Locker will indeed be a member of the team.
Tom Pelissero of 1500espn.com explains that Locker has drawn comparisons within the franchise to Brett Favre. Others outside the organization see the similarities, too.
“He doesn’t have Brett’s arm talent,” an unnamed personnel exec for another team told Pelissero. “But of this group of quarterbacks, if we were going to a park and go play, you’d pick Brett Favre and you’d probably pick [Locker]. He’s such a tough-ass football player.”
The buzz around Locker diminished after a so-so senior season in which his accuracy dipped. Some think that baseball screwed up his footwork, and that his footwork screwed up his accuracy.
“His motion was off,” the unnamed NFC executive said. “His release point was all over the place. So, guess what? Now, it’s pretty good. He worked on it, fixed it in the offseason.”
“Old-school guys remember how Dan Marino fell because of a subpar senior year,” an unnamed AFC personnel director told Pelissero. “You have to go back and look at the whole body of work and if you feel comfortable, because if a guy shows you he’s got the ability, he’s got it.
“[Locker] didn’t become less intelligent. He didn’t become less athletic and all those things in the course of a year. You just have to figure out if the reason for the lack of production or the struggles is something that you’re comfortable with and you buy into. So, that becomes a matter of opinions.
“Put it this way: I don’t see any reason why somebody would not consider him there [at No. 12].”
All that said, since we don’t know the teams for which the unnamed NFC and AFC executives work, it’s impossible to rule out that they pick after the Vikings, that they aren’t interested in Locker, and that they hope the Vikings take Locker instead of a player in whom they are interested.
Either way, the Vikings need a quarterback. Though the twelfth pick could be too high of a spot to take Locker, trading down entails a risk of having someone else take Locker, if Locker is the guy they decide they want.