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Don’t look now. The Patriots are hosting Jake Locker for a two-day workout, according to ESPN.
Locker, who failed to live up to his preseason hype, completed 55 percent of his passes and threw for 17 touchdowns with Washington last season. Following a breakout campaign in 2009, many thought Locker would have been the No. 1 pick overall if he declared for the draft. Instead, Locker stayed with the Huskies as the team went 7-6, after making big strides in 2010.
Locker’s best performance last season came against Oregon State where he connected for five touchdowns in a one-point win against the Beavers. However, with one great performance came two bad for Locker. Against Nebraska, Locker completed a career low four passes as Washington was embarrassed, 56-21. He didn’t fare better against Stanford and UCLA, as Locker failed to pass for more than 70 yards in either contest.
Still, the 6’2″, 231-pound quarterback amazed all at the combine. Locker ran the third fastest 40-yard dash amongst quarterbacks at 4.59, erasing the memory of a poor senior season.
Every year, teams hosts a bunch of prospects leading up to the draft, and in some cases the team actually drafts players they haven’t worked out one-on-one. For New England, this could be nothing more than an organization doing their diligence on a prospect. However, for conversation sake, what if the Patriots draft Locker? Bill Belichick hoped to find a potential air-apparent to Tom Brady in 2008, but Kevin O’Connell didn’t pan out. Brady, who will be 34 next season, would seem to have three to four years left playing at a high level.
From a draft standpoint, Locker is the perfect project quarterback that the Patriots could groom behind Brady. Locker’s big arm, leadership ability, and quick feet makes him an interesting prospect to evaluate.
The last time the Patriots drafted a quarterback from the state of Washington, it worked out pretty well. Just saying.
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