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2019 Broncos roster review: Rookie quarterback Drew Lock

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Is Drew Lock the Broncos quarterback of the future? Or will they have to enter the 2020 draft chasing one of the top quarterback prospects?

NFL: Denver Broncos-Minicamp Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos traded up in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the Cincinnati Bengals to select former Missouri quarterback, Drew Lock. They acquired this second-round selection after trading back in the first round of the draft with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Now he will enter his first NFL Training Camp hoping to become the Broncos next “quarterback of the future”.

Drew Lock Profile

Quarterback, Senior, Missouri

Height: 6’4” | Weight: 228 lbs | 40 time: 4.69 seconds

Arm Length: 32 1/2” | Hands: 9” | Vertical Jump: 31”

Broad Jump: 112.0 inches | 3-Cone Drill: 7:03 seconds | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.12 seconds

Lock played four seasons at Missouri and was a four-year starter for them during his college career there and he improved each and every season while there. During his four-year career at Missouri, Lock totaled 12,193 yards passing, 99 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. He completed 56.9% of his passes and also rushed for 437 career yards and total 9 career rushing touchdowns. This past season for Missouri, Lock totaled 3,498 yards passing, 28 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and completed 62.9% of his passes. A pretty solid senior season for the potential first-round pick.

Some of the accolades Lock has earned throughout his college career include(Via: Missouri’s player profile on Lock)

  • 2018 Team Bob Jeffries Kansas City Metro Player of the Year
  • 2018 Team Captain
  • 2018 Preseason All-SEC First Team (Media)
  • 2018 Maxwell Award Preseason Watch List
  • 2018 Davey O’Brien Award Preseason Watch List
  • SEC/Mizzou Single-Season Record Holder for Passing TDs (44 in 2017)
  • Nation’s Leader in TD Passes (44 in 2017)
  • Mizzou Single-Season Passing Efficiency Record Holder (165.67 in 2017)
  • 2017 SEC Leader in Passing Efficiency, Passing Yards, Total Offense, Passing Yards per Game, Passing Yards per Completion (led nation), Points Responsible for
  • 2017 First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches)
  • 2017 Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week (9/3/17)
  • 2017 SEC Offensive Player of the Week (9/5/17; 11/27/17)
  • 2017 Team Captain
  • 2016 Team Captain

The rifle armed Drew Lock was long considered the Broncos’ top target at quarterback during this pre-draft process. It was whispered and rumored pre-Senior Bowl and really gained steam afterwards.

Many assumed that he would be the Broncos’ target at 10th overall, but Lock’s stock wasn’t as high as the media assumed and he fell into the second round. After the first round ended, Elway and his decision makers discussed Lock and what they should do regarding him and they concluded that they would do everything they could to make sure they could come away with him.

“We started thinking about it last night. Once the day is over, you start looking at it and looking at different opportunities before we left. It was late when we left. Getting back in today, we started talking about looking at different options, so that’s when we kind of talked it through and thought that that was our game plan for today, and we’d do everything we could to make it happen. We were able to get that done.”

Now, a big reason why Elway and the Broncos made this strong of a push for Lock was because he was the top-rated quarterback on their board. Ahead of the number one overall pick Kyler Murray, the sixth overall pick Daniel Jones, and Dwayne Haskins (who the Broncos also passed over at 10th overall) who went to Washington in the first round as well.

They decided that the extra ammo they received in the Pittsburgh trade allowed them to make this move up for Lock.

“Yeah, he was. When he kept falling, we just kept an eye on it. Then we he got into the second round, and where we were today, we thought that it was important for us with the extra ammo that we were able to pick up yesterday from Pittsburgh. It allowed us to move around a little bit and move up.”

The reason they moved up instead of standing pat and hoping he fell to their other second-round selection was the “scuttlebutt” they were hearing. Miami had interest (before acquiring Rosen), Oakland could have been interested, and Green Bay was planning on taking Lock. So they decided they had to get ahead of all that to guarantee that they came away with their top quarterback.

“Miami was in front of us, and I’d heard some other teams. We didn’t know if he was going to get by the Raiders. There’s a lot scuttlebutt out there. Plus, with Miami in front of us, we thought that that was one we had to get in front of. Just started at the top and we were able to get a deal done with Cincinnati, so it worked out very well.”

Now, Lock is entering his first Training Camp behind veteran quarterback Joe Flacco hoping he can become the Broncos’ quarterback of the future.

John Elway and Vic Fangio have already indicated that Flacco is your starting quarterback, so there will be no quarterback competition this summer. However, all eyes will be on Lock and his development this summer. His cannon arm will likely earn him a few “ohhhh’s” and “ahhh’s” this summer while some poor decision making will likely give fans some headaches. Hopefully, for the Broncos and Lock, there are more “ohhhh’s” and “ahhh’s” instead of headaches.

The good

Lock has all the raw tools. He’s built like a quarterback, he’s athletic with a basketball background, he has a cannon arm, he has the personality and “swagger”. He checks all those boxes in what General Managers look for in a franchise quarterback.

Those traits in a quarterback prospect more often than not give him the “high upside” label and this exactly the label Lock has. If he is able to put it all together on the field, he will be a damn good NFL quarterback and that is what the Broncos are hoping Lock does.

Another thing that works in his favor is the presence of Rich Scangarello. His ability to develop a young quarterback is likely one of the big reasons Vic Fangio added him to his staff to run the teams offense. Obviously, his zone blocking system and knowledge of Kyle Shanahan’s offense is a big factor as well, but his development skills were definitely an important reason as well.

Scangarello turned some guy named Nick Mullens into a respectable looking NFL quarterback. Now imagine what he can do with a quarterback with the tools and potential that Drew Lock possesses. I believe the plan all along when they hired Scangarello was to pair him with Lock and it obviously came to fruition. You’re not bringing in a quarterback developer to be your OC and not draft a toolsy quarterback for him to develop and build a system around.

Finally, I think the presence of Joe Flacco who is entrenched as the starter and Lock’s second round status works in his favor here. The immediate expectations are low, and being a second round pick, he doesn’t have the first round expectations that come with that selection. This means Lock may have a smoother rookie year and avoid having to live up to high immediate expectations.

The bad

Well, there is a reason why Drew Lock fell into the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. His mechanics and footwork need work, his decision making isn’t always the greatest, and while his accuracy improved each year, it still is an issue for him. Now he never had a stable presence or the same playbook each year in college, but his struggles and issues pop out at you while watching his film.

He’s not a day one starter and likely needs a full year of bench time before seriously pushing for playing time. Also, since he doesn’t have the fifth-year option, the clock for him to prove himself in the NFL is already ticking and a year or so of development really only gives him a few years to prove himself in the NFL.

Broncos Rookie Mini Camp Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

While I stated his second round status is a positive, it is also a negative as well. Since Lock is a mid second-round selection, his presence on the roster does not stop the Broncos from targeting a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. Elway’s love for Justin Herbert is well documented and if they for whatever reason had a chance to select him, Lock’s presence on the roster wouldn’t be much of a roadblock. Same would likely be said if they had a chance to select Tu’a as well.

So Lock will need to show enough this upcoming Training Camp, preseason, and season to make sure the Broncos won’t be tempted to indulge in on the likely much better 2020 quarterback draft class.

Now finally, the addition of undrafted free agent Brett Rypien gives Lock some competition for that backup job. Lock is more physically gifted than Rypien, he has the draft status and potential going for him but Rypien is more polished. He’s more accurate, he’s going to make the right read, and while it won’t be as sexy, he will be steady. Add in the Broncos fan base love affair with late round quarterbacks and Rypien has the chance to push Lock this summer.

Quotable

Drew Lock on his pre-draft interaction with Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello.

“Yeah, we talked about a lot of stuff in our meeting. Installed a couple plays, talked over some of my film, talked over some of, I guess our film now. We talked over a little bit of the Denver Bronco film. He pointed a little thing here and there. One of the big things that I know I need to work on as well goes with rolling out to the left. All quarterbacks can roll out right and throw. I do a little unorthodox thing sometimes when I go to the left, and we’re going to focus on that and getting it down right. You’ve got to get out of the pocket. You’ve got to make plays out of the pocket, and that was one of the main things we talked about. For him to be able to go ahead and say something to me in that early meeting, allowing me to work on it now before I ended up being a Bronco, I think that was huge. That was one of the reasons why I felt good coming out of the meeting. A lot of these teams, they’ll talk to you about your film and go over a play, and not necessarily critique you and tell you what you need to get better on. You’ve got to ask them for that. That was just the different vibe I got here. Everything was played out, and he had those tips for me, which made me feel like this could be a home in the future. Now, I’m standing here a Denver Bronco.”

Drew Lock Highlights

Drew Lock’s roster status with the Broncos

Drew Lock is locked into a roster spot, he’s likely your backup quarterback to Joe Flacco, and is your hopeful quarterback of the future for the Broncos.

His development will be a big storyline moving forward the next year and we could potentially enter the 2020 season with Lock as your starting quarterback. However, if he struggles this year, we enter another offseason with the Broncos dipping their toes into the quarterback draft class. So how this all plays out will be something very interesting to watch moving forward.

Poll

Do you think Drew Lock is the Broncos quarterback of the future?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Yes
    (1265 votes)
  • 20%
    No
    (321 votes)
1586 votes total Vote Now