Expectations from high NFL Draft picks build pressure. In 2011, Jake Locker was picked eighth overall during that year’s player selection. His Tennessee Titans have struggled to find their franchise signal caller since Steve McNair left. Vince Young won Offensive Rookie of the Year. More than anything, personal issues helped doom Young. Some were surprised at Locker’s high selection, but there was a lot to like. His toughness and physical attributes have drawn comparisons to future Hall of Fame inductee Brett Favre. This is high praise in football circles. Arm strength also allows Tennessee extensive use of their playbook. Two problems bring concern going forward. A career completion percentage of 57.3 does not reflect ideal accuracy. It has also been difficult for him to stay healthy.
Since being named starter in 2012, Locker missed 14 games. Current backup Ryan Fitzpatrick was too inconsistent in their pursuit of postseason action last season. If the Titans want change, they should look elsewhere. Changes could arrive heading into 2014.
Rumors persist that former Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson will be released. Alterations at QB may also occur. New head coach Ken Wisenhunt did not pick Locker, and this year’s class of collegiate prospects shows promise.
If Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles are still available at Feb. 11, any one might be too tempting. Contractually, Locker is expected to be around at least through 2014, but NFL players face cuts at all times.