Locker slips, Fairley rises on Kiper’s board

Coming into the year, Jake Locker (QB, Washington) was top of Mel Kiper’s big board. He’s gradually slipped away and last week was ranked at #8. Today, Kiper has the Huskies quarterback plummeting all the way to #16. Yesterday in my updated mock draft, I looked at the possibility Locker may not go in the top-20 picks. The voices that praised him as the top senior prospect a few weeks ago are going quiet. The critics voices are growing stronger. Here’s what Kiper had to say:

Solid TD-INT ratio, but his 56.5 completion percentage is 83rd nationally. Arm and intangibles there, but stock slipping.

It’s not a detailed explanation as to why he’s fallen eight places in one week, especially when Ryan Mallett (QB, Arkansas) actually went up from #13 to #10 on the big board after a mediocre performance against Ole Miss when he only completed 13/24 passing for 196 yards including one pick and one touchdown. Inside information? Who knows. It goes to show the state of Locker’s stock at the moment.

Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) is on the board for the first time, going straight in at #8. You can’t ignore his production so far this year and his performance against LSU was simply stunning. However, he’s played well all year so it’s a surprise to see Fairley appear this high out of the blue. Another new face on the board? Justin Houston (OLB, Georgia) who appears at #17.


  1. Matt

    Not sure I totally understand Mel Kiper’s rational although I’m glad he recognized Luck’s “Check downs,” even though he paints it in a positive way. The Ryan Mallett move is most surprising to me.

    But hey, if we are staring at Jake Locker when picking 21st, then good for us. As a matter of fact, with Locker’s physical ability, that’s a steal to me. Either you have a starting QB who can make a ton of plays, or worst case scenario he fizzles out and you didn’t waste a ton of money addressing the most important position in any sport.

  2. Blake

    Rob I know how much you love Hudson and thought you’d be glad to hear Kiper loves him as well. Has him as the 28th best player. I wish he’d post his top 100 or something like that, but he said in his draft chat today that he feels his size isn’t that much of a problem because of all the sand in his rear and how mechanically sound he is. Good to hear. If Locker isn’t available in 1, I’m all over Hudson, Carimi, or Julio Jones.

  3. Alex


    FYI, I have two teams to route for- the Texans and Seahawks. I may be a Husky, but I wouldn’t want Locker on the Seahawks if I don’t think he can be the successor to Hasselbeck.

    With that said, I can say that I would honestly want Locker the most of all the QBs in the next class. Mallet? Strong arm. Accuracy questionable. Potential character issue. Not fit for the system where a mobile QB is ideal (I think he’s fit for Martz or Norv Turner’s system). Luck? Game manager at this point. Definitely overrated. I’m actually wondering what half the analysts are seeing. I’ve also heard him regarded as “the greatest college QB since Peyton Manning.” Talk about hype.

    What do we get from Locker? Not a “rocket” arm like Stafford or Mallet, but more than strong enough to make the toughest NFL throws (i.e. strong NFL arm). Desire to win. Great work ethic. Very mobile. Running threat. Great mechanics. Fast and compact release. Occasionally shows the “it” factor (something neither Luck nor Mallet has shown).

    The cons are that his accuracy is inconsistent though Luck and Mallet are just IMHO slightly better. He can be great, but there are times where he hits a slump (consistency). He needs more time in the system (i.e. reads).

    The frustrating thing is the inconsistency, but I suspect that’s in part due to his time in the system. He WAS in a spread system just 2 years ago. For me, there are times where he plays like a 2nd rounder-3rd rounder and times where he plays like the #1 pick. My memory of the #1 pick games last year are the 09 LSU, 09 Idaho, 09 USC (he seemed to hit a regression after the first 3 games), 09 WSU, 09 Cal. Idaho and WSU could be accounted to weak opponents, but the LSU and USC were both big games. He showed the “it” factor in the 4th quarter for USC. Against LSU and Cal, he had the perfect balance of passing and running. This year, he played like a #1 in Oregon State, USC, and maybe Syracuse (ironically the games that they won). With the exception of Nebreska, he has played like a 2nd-3rd rounder in the other games though the most recent UA game was played with an injury.

    Though Jake did flat out play bad in the Nebreska game, it must also be noted that the Nebreska line ate the Huskies OL for lunch, spit them back out, and then ate them again for dinner. The WRs were also utterly dominated by the possibly the best secondary, which was led by Prince, I’ve seen in a while.

  4. Alex

    lol, I missed my point. The overall point in the end is that since we do need a successor to Hasselbeck regardless of whether you feel he can go on. Since QB position is the most important, I say take Jake if he falls to 13-17 regardless of the need. If we’re in position, perfect. If we somehow win the NFC West, which is looking increasingly realistic, then trade up.

    IMO, I’ve seen enough of Jake to say that he is worth the gamble. He’s also the only one this year. I can’t say the same for Mallet or Luck. As a point of comparison, I thought there was no one last year that was worth to draft in the QB position. McCoy? Hell no. Tebow? At least 3 years. Clausen- I was VERY clear that I dislike him. I KNEW his arm strength and specifically his accuracy was overrated. The draft boards apparently agreed with me. Bradford? I may be wrong on him in hindsight, but at the time, he wasn’t as strong as he is now and there was a HUGE injury concern. That’s why I didn’t like any QBs last year. If you want to move back farther, I actually thought Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez (even with 1 year in his belt) were worthy of picking, but not anyone else. I thought Sanchez was going to be the next Carson Palmer (the pre injury version).

    In sum, there are 3 potential franchise QBs in the last 3 years that I think are worth a gamble. Stafford looks ok. Sanchez looks pretty good. I was wrong about Bradford, however my concern wasn’t the mental but rather his physical aspect (to his credit, he did bulk up). I personally think Locker can be a franchise QB though he’ll enter less polished compared to the 3 mentioned above.

    • Blake

      ” If we somehow win the NFC West, which is looking increasingly realistic…”
      FO has us at a 77% chance to make the playoffs. If we made the playoffs it would likely be as divisionals rather than wild card and thus we would host a playoff game.

      And what made you think Sanchez would be the next Carson Palmer? 6’3″ vs 6’5″. Mobile and accurate vs rocket arm. Heisman winner vs 15 game starter. They graduated from the same HS and both went to SC thats it.

  5. dennamin

    I like Matt’s view that Jake Locker could be a steal at 21 or even lower if the Seahawks keep on winning. Regarding Locker, the Seattle Times reported that he was suffering from a cracked rib during the Arizona loss. I don’t want to be an apologist for Jake, but I have had one of those and it is tough to breathe and the leg bruise has been limiting as well. He didn’t seem to be stepping into some of his throws. He didn’t look as bad as in the Nebraska game, but from these performances he hasn’t looked like a first rounder to me. Even so, I would love to see him in a Seahawk’s uniform. That coupled with the Seahawk’s surprising season so far has me dreaming about the possibilities.

  6. Rob

    It’s Locker vs Luck this weekend which should be interesting. Unfortunately not on my schedule this weekend (FSU vs UNC, Miami vs Virginia, USC vs Oregon, Missouri vs Nebraska). Reports welcome if anyone sees that game.

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