Thursday, April 28, 2011
Titans select Locker with the 8th overall pick
When the Tennessee Titans selected Jake Locker with the eighth pick in the 2011 draft my first reaction was I'm going to be a Titans fan now. When the Titans selected the kid from Ferndale, Washington they are taking a kid with high upside. Locker also became the first quarterback in the Washington Huskies history to go in the first round. With Locker he'll be replacing another #10 who likes to run in Vince Young. The Titans shocked some people by taking Locker over Blaine Gabbert. I wasn't surprised as Patton Richard had said that Locker is rated higher than Gabbert. For the Titans they are getting a good kid who might not be a polished product just yet. Should be interesting what the Titans do with Locker but for fans to say this will end poorly before he has ever thrown a pass is just stupid.
So what are the Titans getting in Jake Locker? On paper they are getting a guy who didn't achieve greatness like he was supposed to do. At Washington he had a starting record of 15-25 which obviously isn't very good. To be fair to that stat Locker took over a program that was horrible under Tyrone Willingham. When Locker got hurt the team went 0-12 then Locker by his senior year led the Huskies to their first winning season since 2002. He also won their first bowl game since the 2000 season so be careful calling Locker a "loser" as I'd say he is a winner. Locker's stats aren't that great he completed just 53.7% of his passes for 53 TD's and 35 INT's for 7,639 yards passing. He also ran 1,783 yards and 29 TD's. Locker for being "bad" produced 82 touchdowns for his team in just 40 games which is an average of two touchdowns a game. The Titans know they are getting a kid who has a good head on his shoulders.
When quarterbacks bust out in the NFL it is for many reasons. One reason why Locker won't bust out is he won't let the money get to his head. Locker turned down two million dollars when he was 18 years old to play baseball. Then last year Locker chose to come back he passed up possibly 50 million dollars. Locker came back to lead his team to a bowl game which he had achieved. Locker is a man of great character as well as he has befriended two kids who were dying. Locker spoke at both their funerals and after having the disaster game against Nebraska bounced back to beat them in the bowl game. Locker is also engaged to longtime girlfriend who is a softball star at the University of Washington. With Locker you know you'll get a hard worker who is going to bust his butt to get better. Will Locker succeed in the NFL? That is yet to be determined but he won't bust out due to lack of work ethic.
The good news for Locker is he'll have Chris Johnson to hand the ball off to. In three years Johnson has missed just one game in his career has rushed for 4,598 yards and 34 touchdowns. He has also caught 137 passes for 1,008 yards. Locker won't be asked to carry this franchise. He'll instead hand off to Johnson 20-25 times a game while being asked to complete roll out play action passes which he is best at. Now Locker will be in a low key situation as well in Nashville, Tennessee with a great running back to lean on. He'll also have a veteran superbowl quarterback Kerry Collins there to help him out. I think this is a good situation for Locker as he'll most likely sit and learn behind a pro like Collins. With Johnson to lean on, being in a low key situation and a veteran like Collins this is a good situation for Locker.
All in all, I'm happy for Locker. Locker is the type of guy you wish to be and your daughter to marry. He is a hard worker who truly doesn't care about money or the limelight. There are 25 players at this NFL draft while Locker is celebrating with his family and friends in his hometown of Ferndale, Washington. When Locker signed with the Washington Huskies he was supposed to be the savior. Well he wasn't surrounded with much talent as no offensive player he played with has been drafted so far. Locker did turn the Huskies program around with the bowl game and win over Nebraska. Now Locker is hoping to add himself to the names of Warren Moon, Chris Chandler and Mark Brunnell who were successful Husky quarterbacks in the NFL. I'll root on Locker no matter what and the Titans are now my favorite AFC team. First thing I'll do in the next couple of weeks is order my Jake Locker Titans jersey. I wish Locker nothing but the best! Locker will forever be a great Husky.