The Sporting News' draft writer Lists his Top 40 N.F.L. prospects.

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  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Draft Top 40: Locker, Rodgers show first-round potential

    Russ Lande

    Sporting News

    After a few up-and-down performances that had some wondering why he was at the top of many draft rankings, Washington quarterback Jake Locker stepped up and shined in the Huskies’ 35-34 win over Oregon State in double overtime Saturday night. He showed many of the traits that have excited NFL scouts for three seasons. He exhibited the ability to make strong, accurate throws with his cannon of an arm—and he got rid of the ball quickly.

    Locker has the rare athleticism to avoid sacks and make big plays scrambling and throwing on the move. Despite his stellar performance Saturday, he remains a developing passer who needs to be more patient going through his progressions. Most important, he needs to look at more than one or two receivers before pulling the ball down to run.


    In the same game, Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers proved again that great players can come in small packages. Rodgers displayed first-round talent throughout the game. He may be short, but he is remarkably strong and consistently showed against Washington that he can run through arm tackles and move the pile forward.

    He is a dynamic offensive weapon with the aggressiveness, strength and toughness to make big plays running inside. And he has the quickness, agility, explosiveness, elusiveness and speed to make big plays outside. Considering he also has excellent hands, he is a versatile and dangerous offensive weapon. The more we saw him play on Saturday, the more we were reminded of former NFL standout Warrick Dunn.

    Because he is 5-7, 191 pounds, Rodgers will always have some trouble in pass protection, though against Washington he displayed the aggressiveness and intelligence to hold his own in pass pro. Rodgers’ lack of height is going to cause some to debate about his draft status, but we have little doubt he will be chosen in the second half of the first round.

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