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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

February 27, 2011 at 7:41 AM

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Jake Locker runs blazing 40-yard dash

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Locker relishes his chance to show his skills at NFL Scouting Combine
By Danny O'Neil, The Seattle Times

INDIANAPOLIS -- Washington quarterback Jake Locker popped in the 40-yard dash, his unofficial time recorded at 4.52 seconds.

That would be the fourth-fastest time for any quarterback in the past five years of the scouting combine, according to the times kept by The fastest time in that span was recorded by Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal, who was timed at 4.35 seconds in 2006.

So what does "unofficial" mean? Well, it means that's the time the NFL Network recorded as it was televising his run. The time logged by the scouting combine officials will be posted later. And truly, all teams keep their own times anyway so the idea of an "official" time is kind of a misnomer.

The point is: Jake was fast. Very fast.

He also threw the ball well, improving as the routes got progressively more complicated. Now, you can take that one of two ways. One, it's encouraging he showed improvement. The other is it's puzzling that he wasn't more accurate on the simpler stuff.

Here's a list of the fastest 40-yard dash times by quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine from 2006 through 2010:

PlayerCollege Year 40-yard dash
Reggie McNealTexas A&M20064.35
Marcus VickWest Virginia Virginia Tech20064.42
Brad SmithMissouri20064.46
Jarrett BrownWest Virginia20104.54
Josh JohnsonSan Diego20084.55
Pat WhiteWest Virginia20094.55

Now, what is evident immediately is that it's not a list of overwhelmingly successful NFL quarterbacks. The fastest quarterback at last year's combine -- West Virginia's Jarrett Brown -- was not drafted. The fastest quarterback from 2009 -- West Virginia's Pat White -- is now playing baseball after he was picked by the Miami Dolphins.

But here's something to keep in mind: While Locker's passing accuracy has been a question, he is considered a quarterback first and foremost. He's not going to be picked as an "Athlete" like Missouri's Brad Smith was.

Update at 9:46 a.m.: The Sunday workouts are the only ones open to reporters, and while access is limited, John Clayton of ESPN submits a pool report for the passers. Here's the synopsis of Locker from the morning session:

Pool report: Though Sunday wasn't a perfect rebound from a sub-par Senior Bowl week, University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker
bounced back with his throwing. Running was no problem. It never has been.

His initial unofficial times of 4.52 and 4.52 would have tied him for Duante Culpepper, the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback, as the fourth best quarterback 40 time since 1999. Considered the Tim Tebow of the West Coast, Locker has always been known for having great athletic skills for his ability to move.

It's been his inconsistent throwing that has been under scrutiny. Sunday was good day overall because he was consistent in most of his throws. He opened by showing great arch and touch on seam routes down the middle of the field. Though his throws on slant route were fine, a drop and a miss-step by a receiver led to two of three incompletions, but drops by receivers were familiar to him from his days at Washington.

Locker wasn't as sharp in two of his three "nine" routes to his left, being a little high with a couple of throws. Locker bounced back with a strong performance of throws to his right. He completed two of three throws on short "out" routes. His 12-yard curls to his right were natural. He was three-for-three on post corner throws.

Overall, Locker seemed to be in tone with his throws and made it easy for receivers to catch them. He's made progress since the Senior Bowl.

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