Thursday, April 28, 2011

Please Don't Pick Jake! Why The Seahawks Should Pass On Jake Locker

There has been speculation for months that if he is still available at the 25th pick the Seattle Seahawks will select Jake Locker in the NFL draft. If the rumors are true it will be a mistake the Seahawks will regret for years to come. On the surface it looks like a perfect match with a fairy tale ending. The Seahawks are in desperate need of a quarterback as Matt Hasselbeck remains unsigned with questions about his effectiveness going forward. Jake Locker is the hometown hero that single handedly resurrected the Washington Husky football program. He is a unique physical specimen with exceptional leadership skills and a winning attitude. If Jake could couple those intangibles with the skill set NFL teams look for he could have a promising career.

There in lies the problem. I think Jake Locker will struggle with the speed of the game and the precision necessary to be a good quarterback. NFL defenses are complex and you can't depend on sheer athleticism and raw talent to get you by. I've watched every collegiate game Jake Locker has ever played in and he's always had troubles with his accuracy. Instead he's relied on his ability to improvise and keep plays alive. Those things are important in the NFL, but not as important as reading defenses and putting the ball where it needs to be when it needs to be there.

Given the right set of circumstances Jake Locker could be a productive player in the NFL, but the Seahawks are not a good fit. Their running game is below average, the offensive line is suspect, and Jake would be pressed into action before he was ready. The best situation for Jake is a team where he can sit behind a veteran quarterback and learn the game for a few years. In Seattle the fans would be calling for Jake after every Hasselbeck incomplete pass (or whoever is starting at quarterback). He would be rushed into service and the results would be disasterous. The last thing you want to see is the hometown hero fail in his hometown. The Seahawks should avoid temptation and address other deficiencies the team has. It's the best decision for both sides.

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