Two intriguing quarterback prospects have stepped to the podium here at the NFL Combine and they both came across quite well. That is, Jake Locker and Andy Dalton have no plans, at the moment, to add “entertainer” and “icon” to their NFL quarterback duties:
JAKE LOCKER, WASHINGTON
It didn’t take long for the Accuracy Question to get asked: How sick was Locker of being asked about his potentially fatal flaw? The question drew a few stray laughs, but Locker, who never completed more than 58 percent of his passes in college, wasn’t giggling, “It’s something I knew coming into this … I was ready for it.” Locker’s stone face called for a follow-up: Was he eager to silence some skeptics at the combine? “Yeah,” Locker said, “I’m a competitor.”
There were a few more questions on his accuracy and Locker — calm, poised, looking his questioners in the eye — handled them well. He wasn’t defensive – instead he acknowledged it was an area that needed polishing. He said it was “no secret” that throwing in the pocket was his biggest weakness. To that end, Locker has been working with former NFL quarterback Ken O’Brien in Irvine.
If he doesn’t improve his touch, it may not matter, but Locker came across as mature and determined to improve.
ANDY DALTON, TCU
Dalton seems like a guy who will have no problem acing the intangible test with NFL teams – maybe because he has an aw-shucks, Texas-twang, red-headed, Opie-Taylor thing going on.
On more than one occasion, Dalton highlighted his football IQ, saying he “understood the game very well” although he did acknowledge that he lined up primarily in the shotgun in college. He termed himself a “perfectionist” and “a winner” who “couldn’t stand to lose.”
Dalton gets points for conceding he hasn’t always been the picture of a Puritan work ethic. He said he learned the value of hard work during the course of his four-year career as a starter at TCU where he went 42-6 and “found out what it takes to be successful.”