Draft expert Rob Rang says UW’s Locker is top QB in draft

Jan 6, 2011, 7:16 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:54 pm

locker

By Michael Simeona, MyNorthwest.com intern

Before Thursday, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was going to be the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft. But after Luck’s announcement to stay at school for his junior season, could UW’s Jake Locker be considered the top overall quarterback prospect in next year’s draft?

“As crazy as it sounds, I have Jake Locker as the No. 1 quarterback in this draft,” said NFL draft expert Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com. “I do not believe he’ll be the first one drafted, but in my mind he’s the best bet to be successful in the NFL.”

Just last year Locker was widely considered to be one of the top picks in the draft before deciding to return for his senior season at Washington. Despite leading the Huskies to their first postseason bowl appearance in eight years, Locker’s 2010 season didn’t live up to the hype and expectation associated with being labeled as the top overall pick and was surpassed by Luck as the best quarterback prospect of the ’11 class.

But with Luck staying at Stanford another season it opens up the possibility of Locker being the first quarterback chosen off the board this April. Although junior quarterback’s such as Ryan Mallett (Arkansas), Cam Newton (Auburn), and Blaine Gabbert (Missouri) have established themselves as first round talent, Locker still seems to be the safest pick according to Rang.

“I really believe that Jake Locker is the safest of the bunch,” Rang said on Thursday’s show. “That sounds crazy because we’ve all seen how inconsistent Jake Locker can be, but at the same time he is an athletic phenom – I don’t think anybody can argue with that. He has the intangibles everybody’s looking for and at the same time he’s coming from a pro style offense. So there’s going to be less of a projection as to how he’s going to be able to handle the jump to the NFL.”

Locker will have one more opportunity to show off his talents before the draft during the Senior Bowl on Jan. 29 where over 800 front office personnel from all 32 teams will be watching. With Locker being the only senior out of the projected group of quarterbacks to be taken in the first round, Rang believes it’s a golden opportunity for him to show why he should be the first quarterback taken off the board based off his performance in the elite All-Star game.

“If Jake Locker has a strong performance in the Senior Bowl I still believe that there’s a chance that he’s going to go in the top 15 of this draft.”

Rang also discussed who he thinks the Carolina Panthers will select with the top overall pick, and who the Seahawks might be interested in drafting other than a quarterback. You can listen to the entire interview right here.

Wyman & Bob

Wyman and Bob

Mariners Carlos Santana...
Brent Stecker

Why Mariners’ Carlos Santana will be an important player in playoffs

As MLB Network's Jon Morosi points out, Mariners slugger Carlos Santana brings a few things to the table Seattle will need in October.
14 hours ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Is Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic back for good? 3 MLB insiders weigh in

Jarred Kelenic has produced in his short time back with the Mariners from Triple-A. We look at what MLB insiders Mike Blowers, Jeff Passan and Jon Morosi have to say about him.
3 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brent Stecker

Seahawks Football 101: Correcting a pair of basic mistakes

Former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman breaks down a Seahawks play each on offense and defense from last Sunday's loss to the Falcons.
4 days ago
Mariners...
Brandon Gustafson

Rowland-Smith: Mariners’ ‘big wake-up call’ may be what they needed

Former pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith joined Wyman & Bob and explained why Sunday's stunning Mariners loss to the Royals may be a good thing.
5 days ago
Mariners Adam Frazier...
Brent Stecker

Mariners Breakdown: Reconciling painful collapse with playoffs in grasp

Bob Stelton of Seattle Sports' Wyman and Bob explains why he thought Sunday was the worst single-game loss in Mariners history and much more.
6 days ago
Mariners Carlos Santana...
Brent Stecker

Blowers: Why Santana, Mariners’ veteran presence has been so important

ROOT Sports color commentator and former Mariners 3B Mike Blowers talked about Carlos Santana and the impact of veterans on the young M's players.
11 days ago
Draft expert Rob Rang says UW’s Locker is top QB in draft