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It’s very hard to find an above-average NFL starter at QB

That’s just the cold, hard reality.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Right now there are 33 qualifying quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of number of passes thrown per game.

By quarterback passer rating, Drew Lock is ranked 32nd.

It gets worse though.

The other QBs were are starting and that were drafted with Lock in 2019 are all playing average at best. Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones and Drew Lock are three of the worst QBs in the league at this moment.

For those who want (or wanted) the Broncos to be bad enough to have a shot at the No. 1 overall pick (who is most likely going to be Trevor Lawrence in 2021). I’ve got news for you -that might not solve the problem.

Ok, so where do teams get elite quarterbacks in the draft?

Here are the draft spots of the top 10 current QBs in terms of passer rating.

For those who don’t click on that link to see the names, those top 10 are Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Derek Carr, DeShaun Watson, Ryan Tannehill, Josh Allen, Ben Roethlisberger and Justin Herbert.

They have passer ratings of 116.4 (Rodgers) to 102.8 (Herbert).

Of those guys in the top 10, only Herbert has fewer starts than Lock. Josh Allen is the next least-experienced and he has now started 37 regular season NFL starts at QB.

Josh Allen is the player that the Lock fans are clinging to. Why? Because like Lock, Allen made many of the same mistakes in his first 12 starts.

Lock has 12 starts. Allen started 11 games as a rookie in 2018 (he also played half of a game in Week 1 when Nathan Peterman was atrocious). Allen’s rookie stats {52.8% completion, QB rating of 67.9, 28 sacks taken, 10 passing TDs (8 rushing TDs), 12 INTs} are fairly comparable to what Lock has done over the same span of games (12 games).

The exception is the rushing TDs; Lock has two, but he probably should have a third since I think he would have scored yesterday without Noah Fant holding the defender. Lock has completed 58.6% of his passes, thrown 14 TDs, 12 INTs and has been sacked 16 times.

Allen has played much better since his rookie season. He improved to a passer rating of 85.3 and led the Bills to the playoffs in 2019. He currently has a passer rating of 103.2. After throwing 10 TDs and 12 picks as a rookie, he has thrown 41 and 16 since.

Unfortunately, Allen is the rare exception of a quarterback who is given enough time to improve. The question comes down this:

Do you think that with more starts Lock will improve?

Here are the things that he is currently not doing:

Reading the defense pre-snap (as far as I can tell) to determine who is most likely to be open

Anticipating throws: IMO he was much better at throwing to his receivers’ anticipated spots last season than he has been this year. This might be the result of no preseason and a new OC and offensive scheme.

Progressing through his reads - he is still locking onto his primary target and throwing to them even if they are triple covered

Moving the safeties with his eyes (I’ve seen him do this three times in total in 12 starts).

Climbing the pocket to buy time - he bails to his right every time and defenses have adjusted for this in 2020

Making adjustments to the play at the LOS - he may not have been given this power yet, IDK

Staying in a clean pocket with quiet feet - too many times in the last four games, he has bailed on a clean pocket right about the time that multiple receivers were coming open.

I doubt he ever fixes all of these issues. How many do you think he can fix? How many do you think he needs to fix to be an average starter?

I don’t know about you, but I would settle for an average starter. We haven’t had one at QB in Denver since 2015 - and you could argue that we haven’t had one since before Manning hurt his foot midway through the 2014 season.