It appears that there will be quite a few NFL scouts at Husky Stadium on Saturday. And for good reason, they will get a chance to see two of the top quarterback prospects in college football play head to head.
Obviously, everyone knows about Jake Locker's draft prospects. He was projected as the No. 1 overall pick coming into the season. And after some up and down performances, he's seen that projection lowered somewhat. Because while he looked like a player worthy of the top pick against USC and Oregon State, the lingering memories of the Nebraska and even the Arizona loss are red flags to scouts. There are times where Locker still looks like an unfinished product, particularly in his progression reads and passing accuracy. There were some people saying Locker had played himself out of the first round after Nebraska. That's lunacy. It was a bad game. And you know when Locker goes to the combine and has private workouts for teams as well as possibly the Senior Bowl, he will improve his stock greatly.
Meanwhile, Luck has vaulted up draft boards. But to those who follow college football closely, it isn't really a surprise. He showed signs of this last season, completing 162-of-228 passes for 2,575 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. Remember, Luck isn't going to be throwing the ball 45 times a game under Harbaugh. The Cardinal is a power football team that wants to run the ball first. Luck has hinted that he wanted to return to school next year. But that could change at the prospect of a massive payday.
Still, based on their performances Luck has moved ahead of Locker on most draft experts boards. Our good buddy Rob Rang over at NFLdraftscout.com has Luck being taken 1st overall and Locker going 8th in his mock draft. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the two QBs going in the same spot on his "Big Board."
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Here's a closer look ...
Class: redshirt sophomore
2010 statistics: 133-of-200 (66.5%) for 1,729 yards, 19 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 246.9 yards passing per game, 165.4 passer rating, 35 rushes, 284 yards, 2 TDs,
What they are saying:
Class: Redshirt senior
2010 statistics: 131-of-232 (56.55) 1,614 yards, 14 TDs, 4 interceptions, 230.6 yards per game, 131.4 efficiency rating. 346 yards rushing, 3 TDs
What they are saying:
"He plays tough. And he comes across as a tough, humble, hard-working guy. His playing style and personality match a little bit." – Andrew Luck
“You have to prepare for all of what Jake Locker is, which is one of the most versatile players in the country passing and running. Jake not only is a great runner with speed, he's strong. It has all the makings of a very tough night.” – Oregon State head coach Mike Riley
“The beauty of Jake Locker is he has a competitive nature. He knows who he is not only physically but mentally,” -- Steve Sarkisian.