Here’s another round (and I promise to try to get to some more of these once spring ball ends). …
Q: So much has been made of Jake Locker’s completion percentage of 55.4 percent last year. But wouldn’t it have been over 60 if not for the two Nebraska games, which cannot be viewed as totally his fault?
A: To address the numbers first, Locker was 184-332 passing last season. He was 9-36 in the two Nebraska games, making him 175-296 in the other 10 games, or 59.1 percent. So yes, his completion percentage would look a lot better without those two games included. I think a lot of scouts, however, view Nebraska as the closest thing to an NFL defense that UW played last year, so they look at those games as especially relevant.
No doubt, though, Locker didn’t get a lot of help in the passing game in the two contests against Nebraska either from the line giving him time or the receivers getting open. And no doubt, UW’s receivers dropped a lot of balls at times in 2010 —- whether it was the most in the country, as some have claimed, I don’t even know how to definitively proof, though I guess I’d doubt that it was really that bad. Maybe it was. The best thing, of course, is that assuming there is an NFL season next year, this story will soon move in a different direction. Which leads to the next question. …
Q: Where do you think Jake Locker will be taken in the NFL Draft?
A: Given the need teams have for quarterbacks, and that the momentum has seemed to be going in Locker’s favor of late — who really knows how to decipher what’s out there, but the general tenor of it seems to be increasingly positive for Locker — I’m guessing he goes somewhere in the 8-10-12 range. The Titans have the No. 8 pick and have been rumored from the start to be especially intrigued. Same with the Redskins at 10 and the Vikings at 12, all also teams with a need for a QB.
And if Locker goes in that range, many would probably argue that’s right where he would have gone had he come out a year ago. As SI’s Jim Trotter wrote last week, the assumption that Locker would have gone first in 2010 is based largely on Mel Kiper’s memorable quote. He never went through any of the draft process, which might have yielded some of the same concerns that became more pronounced this season, and probably would have dropped him a few spots (almost certainly behind Sam Bradford, who if you recall, had some amazing workouts.)
If Locker does go in that 8-10-12 range, I think you could probably look back later and say that Locker’s decision to stay didn’t really hurt him at all while allowing him to also get what he wanted most at that time — another year of college.
Q: Has Jordan Polk landed at another school yet?
A: No. There have been rumors about Portland State, which makes sense for a number of reasons (he’s from there, and would need to drop down a level to be able to play in 2011). But he is not on the PSU roster and not enrolled in school there yet.
One player I hadn’t realized is on the PSU roster, however, is DL Myles Wade, several different times thought to be a target of the Huskies before ending up at other schools, and now apparently set to play a final season at PSU.
Q: Can you list all the players that enrolled early for spring, and all those coming in later?
A: Sure, though it’s really pretty easy. The only player who enrolled early to participate for spring is TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Every other HS player who signed in February is scheduled to arrive for fall camp (technically, sometime over the summer for the LEAP program).
To save the time on listing those, here’s a link to list of every other signee.
JC transfer Thomas Tutogi also enrolled in January after signing in December, but it’s not uncommon at all for JC players to enroll in time for the spring if they are eligible to do so. And John Timu, a member of the Class of 2010 who sat out last year, also enrolled in January. So Seferian-Jenkins, Tutogi and Timu were the three new scholarship players available this spring.
And feel free to send in more questions.