Todd McShay says he’s ‘torn’ on Jake Locker

Apr 6, 2011, 7:20 PM | Updated: 7:22 pm staff

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay predicted in his latest mock draft that the Seahawks will take Jake Locker with the 25th pick.

That’s not to say that McShay is necessarily convinced Locker will have a successful NFL career. McShay joined the Calabro show on Wednesday and explained why he’s “torn” on the former Washington quarterback.

McShay: “I am as torn on Locker as I am on any player in this draft. Because, while you don’t quote-unquote “root for guys,” he’s the kind of young man and player that you really want to succeed because he loves the game, he’s passionate about it, he’s done all the right things, he’s put up with a lot, from the media scrutiny to (an) offensive line that’s not very good, to wide receivers that got better as his career progressed but still were certainly not in the upper-echelon of college football. And then injuries as well, battling through injuries and trying to get out there and play and sacrificing everything just to be a good teammate and be a good leader.

ncf a locker bl 400“There’s no question in my mind he has those intangibles and all those things that kinda make up a quarterback and the leadership skills that you’re looking for. He has the athleticism, he has the size, he has the arm strength, and when he’s outside the pocket and bullets are flying and things are going crazy — and when most quarterbacks wind up crumbling and making bad mistakes — that’s when he’s at his best. He completes around 70 percent of his throws when he gets outside of the pocket.

“Deep down somewhere in there, there’s a quarterback that can be accurate. I just think that right now he’s done a lot of learning and he’s trying to pull it together. And an analogy that I always use is like a golf swing. The average-to below-average golfer like myself, anytime I get to the tee box there’s nine things going through my head and I mentally psyche myself out by the time I actually swing. And I think that he’s still… it just hasn’t come together. It’s not natural for him like it is for a lot of other quarterbacks, and that’s the risk you take, that’s why he’s not a top-10 pick, because there’s enough tape to show you as an evaluator that he has not yet got it, and that he’s got to become more comfortable in the pocket and he’s gotta become more consistent.

“But the reason he still is gonna go in the first round is there’s enough tape (to show) that he has the talent and potential to get there. He just a) needs the time and b) needs a very good coach that gets him and can relate to him and can somehow relay this information in a manner that will allow him to get it and become natural with tweaked mechanics and working inside of the pocket.”

You might also be interested in…

• Brock & Salk: What to make of McShay’s mock draft

• SI’s Peter King fears Locker will be a bust

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