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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 7, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Kiper says it’s “etched in stone” Locker will be first pick of 2011 draft

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., held his annual conference call with reporters today to preview the upcoming draft, and when the conversation briefly veered into the future, Kiper made a strong statement about the future of UW quarterback Jake Locker.
“If you had to ask me right now who is going to be the number one pick in the 2011 draft, I would say it’s etched in stone it’s going to be Jake Locker,” Kiper said. “You can mark that down. Jake Locker, if he’s not the number one pick, it’s an upset.”
Kiper then said the Pac-10 could yield two of the top four picks in the 2011 Draft saying that Stanford QB Andrew Luck has the potential to join Locker at the top of the draft should he declare. He’ll be a third-year sophomore next season and eligible to declare.
“If he plays to the level of what we expect to see based on how he performed this year for Jim Harbaugh, Andrew Luck comes out early and he’s the second, third or fourth pick overall,” Kiper said.
Some still theorize that Locker might have been the first pick in the 2010 draft had he decided not to return for his senior season at UW.
Pro Football Weekly draft expert Nolan Nawrocki also held a conference call recently and said that he would still have rated Locker as the top QB for this year’s draft.
“If you go back and look at the tapes, it’s very clear the progression that he made,” Nawrocki said. “He took big strides. To me, he was considerably more gifted than (Oklahoma’s) Sam Bradford (generally considered the top QB for the 2010 draft). Sam Bradford’s Pro Day (last week) was exceptional, the accuracy is what you want in a quarterback (he completed 49 of 50 passes and the one incompletion was dropped). So he’s got everything you want and is going to be a solid pro. But if it were me making the decision and I had to pick, Jake Locker is the guy I would feel more comfortable with. He has more raw talent, is just more gifted physically and his character and that he’s a big, strong leader and super competitive, he would have gotten consideration with that first overall pick.”

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