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Aug 13, 2011; Nashville,TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) following the game against the Minnesota Vikings at LP Field. Tennessee defeated Minnesota 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker vs. 2011 NFL Draft Class

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker speaks with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder after the game at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker will forever be compared to the other quarterbacks that were drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.  There were 11 other quarterbacks drafted in 2011.  Locker was the second quarterback to come off the board.  So how does he stack up against his fellow signal-callers from a fairly deep quarterback draft class?

I’m only going to compare our beloved Jake to the first six quarterbacks taken because, well, do I really need to compare Locker to Nathan Enderle? Along with Locker, those quarterbacks were Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Colin Kaepernick.

In recent weeks, Jake has been the source of quite a bit of conversation as a result of Ron Jaworski ranking good ol’ Jake 31st out of 32 starting NFL quarterbacks. Despite the criticism, Locker remains confident.  According to The City Paper, Locker expressed his disregard for Jaworski’s opinion saying, “It is a preseason ranking, no games have been played. So in my opinion, it means nothing.”

Good for you Jake.  What about when games were being played?

In Locker’s first year as the unquestioned starter, he averaged close to 200 yards per game (197.8 to be exact).  That was good enough for third behind only Newton and Dalton when compared to his fellow 2011 draftees.  That’s the good.

Here’s the bad. Locker ranked dead last in completion percentage (56.4%) , touchdown-to-interception ratio (0.9) and QB rating (74.0).  Yes, Locker’s rating was less than Gabbert (77.4).  That’s hard to believe.  Right now, I would have to rank Jake as the worst starting quarterback from his draft class.  That is excruciatingly painful to say.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a card-carrying member of the “I believe in Jake” club. Locker will turn it around this year primarily because of his sheer will to improve.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s the anti-Vince Young when it comes to humility and work ethic either.  However, Locker has an enormous hill to climb to pull the Titans out of obscurity and into the playoffs.  He’ll get there.

Where do you think Jake Locker ranks among the quarterbacks drafted in 2011?  Let me know in the comments.

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