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Elway: Drew Lock hasn’t ‘made it’ yet, but he is ‘the guy’ to lead

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It’s not new, but it’s always good when Elway is confident about the young QB.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Draft Day is almost here, and it’s anyone’s guess which way John Elway will go for the Broncos’ No. 15 pick on Thursday night.

If the Broncos even stay at 15.

But regardless of whether the Broncos move up or back on Thursday night, it seems likely Elway would love to give his young quarterback more to work with on offense - whether that is another weapon at wide receiver to take pressure off Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant or whether it is a Big Ugly to provide more protection on the line.

Because Elway is definitely feeling good about his QB.

And while Drew Lock is the guy, the GM isn’t putting the second-year QB with just five games under his belt on the All Pro team just yet.

“We drafted him last year in the second round with the idea that hopefully he was going to be a guy that could step in,” Elway said, noting they had thought the acquisition of Joe Flacco in free agency would have worked out “better than it did, but it didn’t.”

But what Lock showed in the late part of the season has impressed Elway.

“I think he came in and showed us a lot of the things that he can do. Obviously by no means has Drew ‘made it,’” Elway pointed out. “We believe he’s got the potential to do it, and we think he’s just going to continue to get better and better. He’s still in the learning process and knows that he’s going to have to get better. We really liked what we saw. ...We feel that he’s that guy.”

Lock coming in and being the team player he was about the plan to sit behind Flacco for at least a year - as well as being able to step up and lead when called upon - represents a quality Elway noted was more of a focus in 2018 and 2019. “We had a couple of misses back there, and I think the misses that we had were people that were character concerns.”

And after four tough seasons, three in a row with a losing record, Elway knows it’s even more important to have guys that can handle the adversity and still focus on the team and helping the team pull through.

“The influences that you have in your locker room when things are tough, you need those guys to lead that locker room through the tough times to be able to get back to the winning ways,” Elway said. “I think we’ve suffered a little bit there. We haven’t had that leadership in the locker room that has been able to dig us out of this hole.”

The GM, who has overseen a predominantly successful club since becoming GM in 2011 but also knows what it’s like to quarterback a not-so-successful team, definitely understands that it’s “easy” to be in a locker room when things are going well.

“It can be very influential on how we play on Sunday and if we’re having a two-game or three-game losing streak to have the leadership and the quality guys in that locker room to be able to pull us out,” Elway added. “We have some really good leadership in that locker room now, positive leadership, and guys that want to win football games. It’s important to them.”