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This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind.
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Posted Sept. 15, 2010

Luck vs. Locker - What Could (And Probably Will) Happen

Let's be honest here for a second. Your most die-hard football fans are generally your most knowledgeable, and specific to the NFL Draft we call them, obviously, Draftniks. However, if you aren't a casual fan, you will generally adopt the most consensus opinion and base those opinions on what the media is shoving down your skull.

I am getting at what will happen this season in the Jake Locker versus Andrew Luck war to be the first quarterback selected in the 2011 NFL Draft - assumming Luck declares. This could all be moot when it's said and done, but I want to be the first to clear the air and tell you what will happen before it happens.

I've watched game tapes of Jake Locker versus BYU and Syracuse, and Stanford Luck against UCLA.

Without a doubt in my mind, Locker is the better prospect. While Luck is slightly more polished, this is really nitpicking. Locker far and away has a better arm in my opinion, and athleticism is no contest here. Locker is also a more accurate quarterback from what I've seen, and he doesn't float the deep ball like Luck.

Luck will be a top 10 pick whenever he chooses to declare, and if I had a top 10 pick, I think Luck would be worthy of the choice. I'm not saying he is a low first-rounder or second-round talent.

The point I am getting at is Luck is on a better team, and I don't think it's very close. His receivers are far more consistent, he has a better offensive line, and his defense is superior to Washington's. Stanford will probably win more games than Washington.

Washington hasn't gotten much better than they were last season from what I've seen on tape. Locker is a better decision-maker and his timing is improved - he is as good as I think he almost possibly can be. The Huskies will likely repeat with a record around five to seven wins.

While Stanford has lost Toby Gerhart, Luck has taken a more prominent role in the passing game and this year's team is better offensively than in 2009. Luck will become more of a leader and the team will rally behind him. I think Stanford ends up with no fewer than 8 wins in the Pac-10, and maybe even 10 wins if they get hot.

My crystal ball tells me we will have a WAR when it comes to determining who the best quarterback prospect is if all of my win projections come to fruition (Stanford winning two or more games than Washington).

Luck will get credited as more of a "winner" than Jake Locker because he won more games. The Locker supporters will come back with "Well, if he played for Stanford", but we already saw this with the Matthew Stafford vs. Mark Sanchez debate.

Luck will get more television and media coverage if he is on the team winning more games. If Stanford makes it to the Rose Bowl, then the Luck hype machine will begin. The casual fan and even the die-hards will see more of Luck, and because they see more of him they will likely develop a positive opinion of him.

This worked against Stafford and for Sanchez. The East Coast saw nearly every one of Stafford's interceptions, but never watched Sanchez struggle through the middle of his junior season. All the typical fan and ESPN analyst recalls was his Rose Bowl game where he obliterated Penn State. This left a fresh taste on the tip of everyone's tongue.

Locker will get lost in the shadow a little bit. People might start to ridiculously question why his teams didn't win more games, the same way people questioned Jay Cutler at Vanderbilt. Locker will get picked apart, and Luck will get more favorably perceived (similar to Sam Bradford vs. Jimmy Clausen or Sanchez vs. Stafford where Bradford and Sanchez were praised; Clausen and Stafford scolded).

The most interesting thing I see out of all this is Luck and Locker are extremely similar quarterbacks. Both are pro-style, pass-first quarterbacks who keep their eyes downfield, yet they can make plays with their legs. They both run West Coast offenses. They are both elite decision-makers. There really isn't a ton that separates the two quarterbacks in terms of playing style. This isn't the strong-armed gunslinger versus the athletic, more conservative West Coast quarterback in Stafford vs. Sanchez.

Locker will probably go No. 1 because he simply has more physical talent and it isn't even close, but if Luck can get some national exposure and win a lot of games, it wouldn't shock me in the end if he is more favorably perceived and gets drafted ahead of Locker.

The argument between the two quarterbacks will likely be split 50-50 or 60-40 (either way) when it's all said and done amongst Draftniks, fans and pundits. Everyone wants to have an opinion, and I feel there will be a lot of support for each quarterback - as their should be since they are both top 10 caliber prospects.

I just don't see it as closely as everyone else does. Locker has more upside, but he's also a very safe quarterback prospect because he has great intangibles and is an elite decision-maker (only flaw is durability).

In the end, it's going to come down to one front office, and we have seen crazier things happen in the NFL Draft. Will this be a pre-draft signing? Will this be as close as Peyton vs. Leaf or Eli vs. Roethlisberger?

Who knows, but I can't wait.






Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

Analyzing Andrew Luck's Decision - 1/7
Luck vs. Locker - 9/15
Top 10 Quarterback Busts - 7/7
NBA Draft vs. NFL Draft - 6/27
Six Sophomores Who Need to Step Up - 6/2
Kentucky 2010 NBA Draft Prospect Blog - 6/1
Brett Favre Retirement Conditions - 5/30
2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year - 5/24
2010 NFL Power Rankings Tier - 5/21
2010 NFL Power Rankings - 5/18
NFL Mailbag: C.J. Spiller and Buffalo Bills Reaction - 5/14
LeBron James Game 6 Reaction - 5/14
The Buffalo Bills - 5/13
LeBron James: Celtic Pride - 5/13
The JaMarcus Russell Lesson - 5/11
Most Productive 2010 NFL Rookies - 5/6
Double Down - 4/30
2010 NFL Draft Observations and Telecast Blog - 4/26
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Day 3 - 4/25
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Rounds 1-3 - 4/24
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Trade Analysis - 4/23
Random Round 1 Thoughts and Analysis - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Class Predictions - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Trades - 4/21
Response to Mike Mayock's Redskins-Trent Williams Comment - 4/8
Teams Misevaluating Their Own Quarterbacks - 4/6
Where Will Jimmy Clausen Go? - 4/5
2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Picks - 3/25
Gerald McCoy's Draft Range - 3/12
NFL Draft Picks Are Business Investments (Anthony Davis) - 3/11
Offense Matters - 3/9
Mel Kiper vs. Todd McShay Debate Revisited - 3/8
Taylor Mays - 3/3
"He's a Winner" ... Not Really - 3/2
Quarterback Height (Jimmy Clausen) - 2/25
The Top Five Reasons the Redskins Won't Pass on Jimmy Clausen - 2/22
2010 NFL Draft: All-Overhyped and Underrated Teams - 2/18
Matt Ryan and the Rams - 2/17
Prospect Case Study: Tim Tebow - 2/11
2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades - 1/20
Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl - 1/14
Junior Quarterbacks/Jimmy Clausen - 12/29
2010 NFL Draft Prospect Updates - 12/21
The Michael Oher Lesson - 12/20
Cameron Heyward's Ceiling - 12/17
Jake Locker to Return for Senior Season - 12/15
Top Four Scenario - 12/8
"Suh" is Elite - 12/7
Carlos Dunlap Update - 11/11
Player to Watch - 10/30
Alpha Quarterback - 10/29
2010 NFL Draft Mailbag - 10/28
O Bradford, Where Art Thou (Draft Stock)? - 10/27
The Trojan Torpedo - 10/26
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Mays-Clausen and Gaines Adams - 10/17
Mr. Overrated - 10/14
2010 NFL Draft Cursed? - 10/8
Conservative Carroll - 9/22
The Crabtree Lesson - 9/21
Scouting Notes: Weeks 2-3 - 9/20
Terrelle Pryor - NFL QB? - 9/15
Jay Cutler Trade Evaluation - 9/14
THE Choke State University - 9/13
2009 NFL Predictions - 9/10
2009 College Football Predictions - 9/3
The Brett Favre Line - 8/20
Why Vick Hasn't Signed - 8/12
The Vince Young Lesson - 8/10
Vegas NFL Power Rankings - 8/9
Dorsey Fat - Chiefs Stupid - 8/7
Eli Manning: The $100 Million Man - 8/6
Predicting Future Needs Part II - 8/4
NFL Draft Moved - 7/24
Matt McGuire's NFL Draft Blog - Home






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