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



January 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

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Locker not most impressive No. 10 in Monday's practice

Posted by Danny O'Neil

MOBILE, Al. -- The most impressive quarterback at Monday's Senior Bowl practice wore No. 10.

That quarterback, however, wasn't necessarily Jake Locker.

Colin Kaepernick, the 6-foot-4 quarterback from Nevada, is also wearing 10, and he was more consistent overall in the North team's practice Monday afternoon. Locker had a pass intercepted by Rutgers defensive back Joe Lefeged on a play in which Locker appeared to misread the coverage.

OK. Deep breath everyone. It was the first of four workouts for the team before Saturday's Senior Bowl. This is just the start. Not the finish. Just listen to what Mike Mayock -- NFL Network announcer and overall draft guru had to say -- after the practice.

"He was a little bit erratic today," Mayock said. "And I think a lot of the quarterbacks are the first day so I don't worry too much about that, but it's really important for him - starting tomorrow - he needs to be as accurate as possible in the pocket."

Mayock said he considers Locker one of four quarterbacks in this year's draft with first-round potential.

Kaepernick is not in that top-tier group. It's guys like Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, Arkansas' Ryan Mallet and Auburn's Cam Newton. Those three are underclassmen so Locker is the only one present in Mobile.

Locker measured in a little bit shorter than his listed height of 6 feet 3, and his accuracy specifically on his intermediate passes, is going to be a question.

The NFL scouting report on Locker says that when he tries to muscle in a throw -- specifically on a curl or somewhere he's trying to get the ball in a hurry -- he has a tendency to have that throw sail high.

It's something coaches have undoubtedly tried to remedy in college, but there will be NFL coaches who believe they've got the ability to fix that.

"The biggest question he has to answer is the accuracy issue," Mayock said. "From my perspective, I think he's as accurate as any quarterback on the run, right or left. He's phenomenal outside the pocket, but he has never been better than a 58-percent passer, and a lot of that is in the pocket, an ability to slide, move and be accurate. I think he's got to show people this week - especially in the practices - that he can get in the pocket, three step, five step, stay there, find the lane, good vision."

The North team is being coached by the Cincinnati Bengals staff and after Monday's workout, head coach Marvin Lewis was asked about Locker.

"His personality is such that he'll be a good leader," Lewis said. "You could see him sticking around the NFL for a while just based on his personality over the 36 hours that we've been around him.

"I like his disposition, how he carries himself and everything that way. I think he's probably been a great leader and you can kind of see that in him."

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