Ted Nguyen of The Athletic joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright on Broncos Country Tonight for a great conversation about Drew Lock’s issues.
And they are many - some his own doing, some outside of his control.
But that doesn’t change the fact that currently the Broncos’ starting QB is playing terribly, and we’re all suffering.
Nguyen, a film guru in the Bay Area, admitted he hasn’t watched all of Lock’s tape this season but in two games plus the Raiders’ game, he had a pretty apt assesment:
“He’s a great arm talent, and I love his aggressiveness,” Nguyen said on the plus side. “But his footwork is just a mess. He drops back at angles and drops backs too far, which just makes life harder on O-line, and he throws off his back foot far too often.”
But the worse part was that Nguyen, who did watch every snap Lock played in the final five games of 2019, hasn’t seen much progression in Lock’s development.
Admittedly, a new play caller with a different kind of offense, a limited offseason and no preseason games, plus a fifth-string right tackle are not in his favor and not his fault.
“But some of the mechanical, technical things he should have been working on in the offseason just haven’t gotten better,” Nguyen said.
And that sparked the age-old (as in last two weeks) debate - is it Drew Lock and he’s hopeless as a future starter? Or is it partly due to a collapsing offensive line and a system not designed for his strengths that make it hard to fix the mechanical errors?
Nguyen had a great answer - it’s both.
“Hopefully these habits that he’s developing aren’t the ones that stick,” Nguyen said. “He has to make concerted effort to not just throw a ball blindly up. Two of his interceptions against the Raiders were just straight up heave-ups; I’m not even sure he knew what he was looking at.”
But Nguyen noted that in other cases it’s Lock not attacking where the numbers dictate. Lock’s interception at the goal line before the half was just a terrible decision. He had three targets on the right side of the field with just two defenders, but only two receivers on the left and three defenders.
“He had trips right and a timeout where he could have had an easy completion - maybe a touchdown, maybe yards and call a timeout. Instead he forced the ball in end zone where there were three defenders over two right there,” Nguyen said, adding the fix is Lock needs to “study tape more and take more coaching.”
Although Nguyen thought the Broncos’ offensive line made the Raiders’ pass rush “look like the 1985 Bears,” he was also disappointed that both Lock as well as Shurmur’s offense didn’t have a great answer for the blitz.
“You have to improve the protection,” Nguyen said, admitting he’s always believed offensive line is the key to quarterback success. “Let [Lock] learn this offense and then see where he goes from there. I think upgrading offensive line has to be a massive priority.”
Edwards asked Nguyen how optimistic he would be if Broncos stuck with Lock, kept Shurmur and had Courtland Sutton back - but it still went back to the line.
“It really depends on that offensive line. I’m big on protecting the QB,” he said. “At the same time, if you have the opportunity to draft a really good quarterback - and I think this will be a good quarterback class - I think you’ve got to take that shot.”
Assuming Broncos probably will be out of the Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields sweepstakes, Nguyen says his next favorite is...
Well, you’ll have to listen.
Agree or disagree with Nguyen - Confidence in Lock really all depends on offensive line protection?
This poll is closed
100 percent agree.
Better protection would help his mechanics - but he’s still not the answer.
Better O-line is needed but so is a new quarterback