Is Jake Locker the long-term answer for the Tennessee Titans?
Now I posted a blog about Jake Locker earlier this year about the idea of running the read option and now I decided to go a little deeper about a different topic. People often forget that the Tennessee Titans drafted Jake Locker with the 8th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Usually being drafted in the top 10 means that the player must perform in a high level in his first couple of years in the league. However in his first two years with the team, Locker has been struggling to represent his status as a top 10 pick.
In his first two years, Locker recorded a 55.5 completion percentage, passed for 2,718 yards and recorded a 14TD/11INT ratio. The good thing is that Locker only played in 16 games and started in 11 games in his first two years so the Titans organization won’t release him that easily. However is Jake Locker the answer in the QB position for the Tennessee Titans? I will tell you that AS OF RIGHT NOW he isn’t. Maybe he will improve but he hasn’t shown that just yet.
Jake Locker had a great first 3 games last regular season where he posted a 63.6 completion percentage, racked up 781 passing yards, had a 5TD/2INT ratio and was only sacked twice in those three games. Things seemed to rise up for Locker put a sack in week 4 by the Texans defense gave him a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of that game and additional 5 weeks.
After being sidelined practically 6 weeks, Locker returned in a big fashion by helping the Titans win on the road by 34 points (Week 10). The final score of that game was 37 (Titans) to 3 (Miami). Some praised Locker for having a good TD/INT ratio which he recorded a 2TD/0INT ratio. However I go deeper when it comes to stats. Apparently Locker played a small role in that game where he only completed 9 passes out of 21 total passes which means he only made 42% of his passes. He recorded only 122 passing yards in that game too. This was a sign to come because after the Titans bye week (Week 11), Locker recorded a 54.9 completion percentage, recorded for 1,273 passing yards (212 per game), and recorded a 4TD/9INT ratio from Week 12-17.
Now if Locker wants to be a great QB he can’t be posting mediocre stats at the second half of the season, especially if he wants the Titans to make a playoff run. Also what it is incredible is that the 2012 regular season Jake Locker could not record a TD in three different games. In other words is that he couldn’t produce any points for his team. He needs to be more consistent and not have a lot of games where he produces zero TDs and throws less than 200 passing yards.
Now if Jake Locker can become a leader and prove everyone that he is worthy of the 8th pick then maybe the Titans can be a sleeper pick in the 2013 season. However if the Titans wants to make the playoffs then it all depends on the role and production of Jake Locker.