The Tennessee Titans spent the 8th pick of the 2011 NFL draft on QB Jake Locker, labeling him as the future of this franchise. In his first year he sat behind QB Matt Hasselbeck, acquired via free agency, and he learned a lot. In the spare time we did see him on the field that season, he awed us. He brought back memories of the McNair era.
He gave Titans fans hope.
This year we expected Locker to take over the franchise and run with it. Unfortunately, thanks to an injury in his first week that was worsened in week four, he missed half the season. We’re still not sure what exactly we have.
That being said, lets look at what we do have:
It’s hard to get a clear picture with only four games worth of stats, but there’s still things you can get from it.
First, you can look at his touchdown to interception ratio. Six to two is pretty good. Obviously he has a couple of “off” games, most recently the one against the Dolphins where he noticeably struggled with his accuracy. Coming back against the Jacksonville Jaguars this next week, I expect his accuracy to be much better.
We’ve also seen his ability to extend drives, specifically this last week when he was tripped up by the line and stood up and ran for nearly 20 yards. That’s something you just don’t see.
Something else promising, which should also improve next week, is Locker’s completion percentage. Last year, in limited playing time, people started pointing at his 51.5% completion percentage and warned that it was the same problem he had in college and it had followed him to the pros. Obviously they’re looking a little silly right now. He’s had a few off games, but I expect more positive ones from him as the Titans try to finish the season strongly.
The Titans should feel pretty confident about their pick thus far. He still has plenty of room to grow, and we’re only just getting to know him, but he’s shown a lot of promise thus far. If he keeps on the track he is on right now, sans injuries, he’s got a great future ahead of him.
I can’t wait to see him shred the Jaguars.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart