2011 NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans Surprise, Select Jake Locker Eighth Overall

Jake Locker was supposed to have hurt his NFL Draft stock by sticking around for his final season at Washington, but the Tennessee Titans liked him as much in 2011 as most teams did in 2010, selecting him ahead of Blaine Gabbert with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Titans, with Vince Young out of the picture and Kerry Collins’s baby pictures appearing in faded black and white, had a wide-open quarterback situation to go with their first coaching change since becoming the Titans in the first place.

Locker struggled with an unheralded supporting cast in Washington and a low completion percentage all four years with the Huskies, but teams love his arm, his athleticism, and his intangibles—just about everything except his college stats. He wasn’t expected to break up the Cam Newton/Blaine Gabbert stranglehold on NFL Draft news, but the Titans remembered last year’s hype—or just ignored this year’s anti-hype—and chose the player they wanted all along.

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