The Washington Redskins have choices. They have plenty of options when it comes to the # 10 and # 41 overall picks at the end of this month in the NFL draft.
Do they go Quarterback in the first round, if Cam Newton or Blane Gabbert are there? How about Julio Jones to help out Anthony Armstrong, and put a major dagger in the hopes of Santana Moss returning to DC?
Does Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen and company try and go defense, if Robert Quinn or Von Miller are still on the board to give Jim Haslett more of what he needs? How about a defensive end like Cam Jordan or J.J. Watt, or a cornerback to replace Carlos Rogers like Prince Amukamara?
Surely, when a team is (10-22) in the last two seasons, and (12-28) since the midway point of Jim Zorn's first year -- it's hard to justify any position not being a need.
Most pundits say Quarterback of the future is the number one target on Shanahan's shopping list, and while I disagree that you NEED to take one in the first round, I would say that the position is a priority item by the end of the 2nd round, however that gets accomplished.
One of the guys that might fill that void is Jake Locker. A senior signal caller from Washington, who many thought could be a top-5 pick in last years selection meeting if he chose to leave after playing just one year under Steve Sarkisian.
The question now however -- is he a first round pick? Many NFL mock drafts have him dropping out of the first round. However, he does have amazing athleticism and a very strong arm (he was drafted twice and eventually signed a baseball contract with the Los Angeles Angels).
He also may have cost himself millions of dollars, but in a phone interview with the "Sports Reporters" on ESPN 980 late last week, it doesn't seem like he has many regrets.
The following are direct quotes from Locker to Steve Czaban, Andy Pollin and Thom Loverro with their questions to Locker being slightly edited for brevity.
SR: You worked out for the Seattle Seahawks just recently. How did that go?
JL: "It was a little local workout. Most of the guys from this area, were able to go up to the facilities and kind of show 'em what we're capable of."
SR: How do you think you have performed so far in the draft workout process?
JL: "I feel really good about it. I feel confident and felt comfortable in all of them. It's just going out and having fun with it and enjoying it, playing a game that we've all played since we were really young."
SR: Why did you struggle in your senior year and seemingly regress accuracy wise?
JL:"It's a combination of a lot of things. If you really look at the film, i grew as a passer and as a quarterback. I don't think the numbers were indicative of what last year was able to do for me and how much it allowed me to grow and mature as a Quarterback."
SR: Did you lose some weapons around you - and if so, is that maybe some of the cause of the struggles?
JL: "We've got a pretty consistent core group of guys the last couple of years. I was really proud to play with them."
SR: What happened in the first Nebraska game where you really struggled to throw the ball?
JL: "Just a very good defense, they were very simple with what they did, but very good at what they did. Caused us some problems. They had a good plan for us. We didn't take advantage of some of the weaknesses of their defense, which we were able to look at and kind of exploit the 2nd time around."
SR: How is the NFL lockout and all of the different dynamics, affecting this process for you?
JL: "It's gonna affect us, and it's gonna be something that we're going to be a part of here in the next month. For a lot of us, it's just focusing on.this process and making sure we're not getting distracted with other things, and putting our best foot forward...That's where my focus is. You keep an eye on what's going on. We hear the same stuff that you guys do."
SR: Are you scheduled to come here to Washington and workout or visit the Redskins?
JL: "Your not able to go to teams and work out there, so no I have not" ...."You know I gotta take a look at it, and see in the next couple of weeks, where I'm going. I have a couple scheduled, and uhhh yeah -- we'll see how they go."
SR: Do you have any second thoughts or regrets about going back for your senior season?
JL: "Oh it helped me a lot. WE did have the year that we wanted too, we made it to a bowl game, We finished third in the Pac 10, we beat a very good Nebraska team. I was very proud of what we accomplished this past year. I think it allowed me to develop as a passer and as a quarterback, giving me more experience going in, making the step to this next level and making the step not such a big one for me."
SR: You seem to be well-coached on your answers. Do you have someone who helps you with media training?
JL: "No, I tell you the TRUTH"
SR: What specific football benefits did you get from going back to Washington?
JL: "It allowed me to spend one more year in a pro style offense and work from under center, and run a lot of the same concepts, I believe we'll be asked to run at the next level. I got a year more repetitions doing it, and allowed me to be that more comfortable in it."
SR: Knowing the history here recently, if you are drafted by the Redskins -- do you think you can do what the Shanahan's ask of you?
JL: "Well that's the plan everywhere ...to listen to the coaches"