After the Atlanta Falcons traded up with the Cleveland Browns for WR Julio Jones, the next biggest surprise of the 2011 NFL draft was the Tennessee Titans selecting QB Jake Locker with the eighth overall pick. QB Blaine Gabbert was still on the board and he was widely expected to be picked ahead of Locker.
Titans fans are in an obvious pickle when it comes to trying to grade this pick. On the one hand, you like the intangibles, the leadership and the athleticism he brings. By many accounts, his best football is ahead of him. On the other hand, you don't like that he completed just 55 percent of his passes last season at Washington.
I have been saying for weeks now that you should take your guy at quarterback no matter what the value is. Sure it would have been nice for the Titans to be able to trade back and get more picks and still get him, but there is no guarantee that he would have been there later.
MCM does note, however, the leadership that he brings which will "be a breath of fresh air" after QB Vince Young.
So how do you grade this pick? The potential is there, sure, but is the price worth the risk? I'll grade this an incomplete until we can figure out which way Locker's career will go.
Check out Music City Miracles for more on Jake Locker in Tennessee.
The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picks, NFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft.