With the first round of the NFL Draft slated to begin Thursday night, we’ll take a look this week at the prospects the Redskins may be targeting with the 10th overall pick and gauge the likelihood of each landing in Washington. Check back all week for updates.
Player: Quarterback Jake Locker, Washington
Basics: Locker is a great athlete and tremendous leader, but his football skills -- particularly his accuracy -- have been questioned. Playing behind a suspect offensive line, he completed only 54 percent of his passes during his college career. At 6-foot-2, 231 pounds, he’s not as tall as some other options.
Why he might fit: First, Locker will likely be available at the No. 10 pick, and many analysts think either Washington or Minnesota might bite (the Redskins were enamored with him a year ago and need a quarterback for next season). Locker has a passion for football and loves his team -- evidenced by his decision to return to school for a senior year -- both qualities that coach Mike Shanahan values. He’s athletic and has a big arm. He managed to put up solid numbers with very little talent around him, and he’s eager to get better.
Why he might not: Accuracy is an attribute many in the NFL think a quarterback either has or doesn’t. For the Redskins’ version of the West Coast offense to work, it’s essential. When a quarterback can’t hit his target in a pass-friendly offense, problems ensue (for further reading, Google “Donovan McNabb” and “2010”). Locker is probably a year or two from contributing to an NFL team, and the Redskins might not feel they have that kind of time to wait.
Likelihood Redskins draft him (scale of 1 to 10): 2. Locker would be a reach with the No. 10 pick but probably won’t be available at 41, when the Redskins make their second-round pick. If the Redskins are to pick him, the most likely scenario would be to trade down and grab him later in the first round. But moving back is no easy task, so if they’re high on Locker, they might have to decide whether they really think he’s worth the No. 10 pick.