NEW YORK — Jake Locker, and not Blaine Gabbert, was the second quarterback taken in the 2011 NFL Draft, as the Titans provided the first true surprise pick at eighth overall.
Taking Locker with such a high pick proved two things: One, the Titans didn’t believe he would be available later; and two, they are convinced he can develop into a true franchise quarterback. Anything less than that conviction would seem to make Locker a questionable eighth pick. Very few had Locker going above the No. 25 pick to the Seahawks.
“Locker clearly won the evaluation over Gabbert for the Titans,” NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan observed. “The Titans need to get Kerry Collins ready to start next season, because Locker isn’t ready. (The Titans know) that Locker will need a year or two on the bench to develop.
“They might be getting the next Steve Young if everything works out right. That’s his top end.”
— Frank Tadych