Washington QB Jake Locker was the projected No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL draft if he left school early. He decided to return for his senior season, and his stock has dropped. But Locker could make a statement in Thursday's Holiday Bowl rematch against Nebraska, a team that throttled the Huskies...[details]
Notes: Also ran track as a prep. Suffered a broken ankle that required the insertion of screws and a metal plate as a junior, but went on to break the school career rushing record previously held by Earl Campbell. Backed up Dantrell Savage in '07, playing in 12 games (two starts) and carrying 107 times for 696 yards (6.5-yard average) and four touchdowns with 10 receptions for 137 yards (13.7) and a touchdown. Broke out in '08, starting all 13 games and leading the Big 12 in rushing by toting 241-1,555-16 (6.5) with 22-198-1 (9.0) receiving, despite hurting his right quad against Colorado. In '09, was limited to eight games by a high right ankle sprain sustained in Week Two against Houston, but managed 89-382-1 (4.3) rushing with 11-83-0 (7.5) receiving. Also had a pair of kickoff returns for 40 yards. Healthy in '10, started all 13 games and produced 271-1,548-16 (5.7) on the ground with 20-101-0 (5.1) receiving and 5-87 (17.4) on kickoff returns.
Positives: Surprising inside run skills - is built low to the ground with good musculature and has strong hips. Good contact balance, run strength and tackle-breaking ability. Good instincts and vision - keeps his shoulders square, picks the hole and gets to and through it quickly. Has a feel for when to bounce runs and shows burst to the outside. Shifty and sneaky fast. Tough and competitive - runs hard. Excellent production when healthy. Willing blocker.
Negatives: Long-term durability could be an issue - lacks ideal size, and an ankle injury affected his junior season. Route running and blocking need work. Is not exceptionally strong or fast for an undersized back. Average elusiveness. Ball security has been an issue in the past.
Summary: A muscular, compactly built downhill runner who plays bigger than his size. His strong senior season reinforced belief that he possesses starter-caliber speed, burst, instincts and run strength. Competed very hard as a blocker at the Senior Bowl, indicating a desire to improve his weaknesses, and should develop into a solid back if he remains healthy.