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Originally published Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 4:45 PM

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Where will Jake Locker go in the draft? Don't expect NFL coaches, GMs to say

Jake Locker continues to work out for NFL coaches and executives at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala. But teams will keep their evaluations of Locker to themselves right up to draft day.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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MOBILE, Ala. — The team needs a quarterback. Minnesota's new coach, Leslie Frazier, was clear about that.

"It's one we've got to really address," he said of the position. "We're one team in our division that doesn't have a concrete starter, and so we're kind of looking up to the rest of our division at that position."

And there was a player in the North team practice Frazier just finishing watching that could be a potential answer. So coach, what did you think of Washington's Jake Locker?

"It's too early to comment on any of the guys that are coming out right now," Frazier said. "There will be a time. Some time in April. On draft day."

San Diego's Norv Turner wasn't any more enlightening on the subject, saying he hadn't seen enough of Locker. San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke just shook his head when asked.

When it comes to the NFL draft, teams tend to be in the business of collecting information for the draft, not distributing it, and a poker face is an important part of preparations.

Locker finished the first audition with an upward trend, improving after an erratic practice Monday. He showed the arm strength and the athleticism that have been highly regarded, but the question of his accuracy and just where he will be chosen in the draft hasn't nearly been answered.

He is a first-round talent, that much is agreed upon, and it will just take one team to make that a reality. With as many as a quarter of the teams in the league with a clear need at the position, there's going to be plenty of potential suitors with no clear-cut No. 1 quarterback in this class.

A year ago, Tim Tebow came to the Senior Bowl with unprecedented attention, and at that first practice, he bobbled a couple snaps and the concerns about adjusting from the spread offense became criticisms.

Well, he went in the first round, and Locker very well might, too, but it's going to be a long three months of speculation before there's a definitive answer to that question.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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