I may be the king of procrastination, Broncos Country. As I worked last week to make the GIF Horse Most Valuable Broncos series, I kept finding myself turning on tape of the 2019 QB class. As a habit, I don’t get too informed during the college season so as to approach it with fresh eyes in the offseason but thought it time to dive in with all the reports that Elway is over Case Keenum.
Last Thursday, I spent the morning watching Drew Lock
Lock is where I focused most of my attention so far this offseason because there has been multiple reports from a variety of sources that he is the apple of Elway’s eye. The Broncos infatuation with Lock has probably been the worst kept draft secret in the league so far this year; to the point where it’s fair to begin questioning if Elway is putting out smoke.
Here’s my thoughts thus far: He has one of the better arms in this class. Possibly second to only Kyler Murray of Oklahoma. There are times when his accuracy is all you could ask for from a quarterback. He’s faster than you’d expect a 6’4 225 lb quarterback to be, but isn’t very sudden or twitchy.
The redshirt junior improved his accuracy every year of his career, but still goes through bouts where his ball placement leave a lot to be desired. That accuracy becomes even more problematic when he doesn’t set his feet properly, a habit that shows up far too frequently as a response to pressure. When Lock is throwing off his back foot as he fades away from pressure the ball tends to sail on him.
Additionally, Lock is sometimes slow to diagnose the defense and find the open receiver. This exacerbates his issues with pressure as it sometimes leads to him being stranded in the pocket trying to make something out of nothing. Against South Carolina, it cost his team the game.
He has the kind of arm talent that scouts will love enough to overlook his flaws, but comes with all the bad habits a strong arm helps you overcome. I’ve seen Mahomes as a comparison, which is very questionable, but one thing Lock does have in common with the Kansas City Chief is that he’d benefit from a year sitting and learning. Unfortunately Case Keenum isn’t Alex Smith, and the chances that Lock will get an entire season to sit and iron out his mechanics is very remote. There’s a reason Aaron Rodgers was the best example of a successful quarterback to sit and learn behind a veteran prior to Mahomes, because it is very rare.
Yeah, but what about _____ in 2019?
The best arguments for taking a QB this year is that Von Miller and Chris Harris aren’t getting any younger. The rest of the arguments: Case Keenum ain’t the guy, you never know what next year’s class looks like, maybe the Broncos won’t be in position to get another QB? They’re all questionable rationale for reaching at QB. That’s how you get Paxton Lynch. Would you rather take a quarterback who wins up as the 20th best QB this year or swing for a top 5-10 guy next year? Obviously that’s a hypothetical, but just because the Broncos need a QB doesn’t mean they should reach on a bad prospect.
So far this year, I’ve watched games of Drew Haskins, Kyler Murray and a little Daniel Jones. Here’s my early thoughts on all three:
Haskins- one year starter, Urban Meyer system questions, but probably the best quarterback in this class. Should Elway trade to two? That may be what it takes.
Murray- one year starter, but would probably go first overall if he was 6’0”. People can say that height doesn’t matter because of Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, but they’ll probably struggle to name a 5’9” franchise guy. Combine is huge for him.
Daniel Jones- I wasn’t that impressed by his tape. Perhaps more film study will reveal to me why he’s getting all sorts of love, but he seems like the biggest beneficiary of the shallow class.
The more I’ve watched the 2019 QB crop, the more I stand by what I said for the first 2019 QB Roundtable: The smart long term play would be to trade back in the 1st round this year to pick up a future 1st. That way the Broncos have ammo to manipulate the board as they need to in 2020. This spring, the best option would be to grab an impact player available and continue to build the team so when the QB comes in the team is prepared to maximize all 4 years of his rookie deal.
On to your Broncos links
With quarterback weighing heavily on Broncos Country’s thoughts in the 1st round, let’s add some historical context.
The big armed Lock has been rumored to be a favorite of the Broncos.
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Just who are these guys?
From an interception to spark the Drive II, to a strip sack in the Super Bowl, Atwater made big plays in big moments.
When Steve Atwater joined the NFL, he was an immediate impact player.
We’re moving up into the most important players on the Denver Broncos roster now.
Darian Stewart, S: Cutting Stewart outright would mean a $2.8M dead money charge with $3.6M in cap space gained. While it’s manageable, a post-June 1 cut might make sense here.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri I know it’s January, but doesn’t it just feel like this one is inevitable? Given what John Elway prefers at the quarterback position, the need the Broncos have at quarterback and Lock’s upside for a team building their way back into a contender, this one makes sense on paper. I’m not sure I’d do it though. Lock has improved, but he still ain’t worth a first round pick. Big risk for a guy who hasn’t shied away form them.
NFL mock draft 2019: Kyler Murray goes early; Eagles, Colts find new playmakers | NFL | Sporting News
10. Denver Broncos Daniel Jones, QB, Duke The Broncos could go for another supposed veteran solution at QB with the likes of Joe Flacco or Nick Foles. If not — and if they don’t trade up, and if both Haskins and Murray are gone — Missouri’s Drew Lock and West Virginia’s Will Grier also would be in play. Jones, however, is pushing to be the No. 3 QB with his all-around, pro-tailored skills to go with ideal size (6-5, 220 pounds). He also has NFL-friendly tutelage from Peyton and Eli Manning mentor David Cutcliffe. Jones has the mentally and physically tough make-up Denver has been missing at QB.
Each TDN evaluator offers their take on which Senior Bowl safety is the top guy, who has the most to prove and who is the sleeper out of the group.
The first time they faced the Rams in the Super Bowl, Belichick’s underdog Patriots used an aggressive tactic to shut down Marshall Faulk. Why calling on a similar game plan could be the formula for slowing Sean McVay’s high-powered offense.
Jared Goff is a late processor. He throws with anticipation to a degree, but he's often throwing guys open when they're already open, meaning that he's throwing them closed and allowing DBs to jump and pick routes. The problem gets worse when his receivers are challenged.— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) January 21, 2019
Let the Super Bowl media circus begin! But could we maybe skip these storylines?
Super Bowl 53 odds: Rams open as slight favorites over Patriots, then odds flip | NFL | Sporting News
According to OddsShark, the over/under for Super Bowl 53 was set at 57.5 points. William Hill opened at 58.5. Westgate Sportsbook opened at 58 even.
Gladys Knight, an Atlanta native and “Empress of Soul,” will sing the Super Bowl 53 national anthem prior to kickoff in 2019.
After Patriots’ win in AFC championship, it’s time to put NFL overtime rules to death | NFL | Sporting News
New England correctly called the coin toss, correctly chose to receive the kickoff — remember, this isn’t a given, even with the pluperfect Patriots — and then converted three third-and-longs in a 75-yard drive that ended with Rex Burkhead’s plunge into the end zone for a 37-31 victory and a trip to Atlanta to play the Rams in Super Bowl 53. The players who had been the essence of the Chiefs’ success throughout their 12-4 regular season were spectators through all of this.
Aaron Rodgers doesn't see the ball in 2014-15.— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) January 21, 2019
Matt Ryan doesn't see the ball in 2016.
Patrick Mahomes doesn't see the ball in 2018.
We really going to stick with this OT system for the playoffs? Who wins a coin toss?
If we're going to keep the current overtime format of sudden death for a TD but not for a field goal on the first possession, the change I'd make is to get rid of the coin flip and determine who receives the kickoff based on something that happened in the game, like total yards.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 21, 2019
Tom Brady is now 3-0 in OT games in the playoffs.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 21, 2019
His opponents didn't touch the ball in any of those wins. pic.twitter.com/ektb8VYm5F
FMIA: Amazing, crazy games lead to Rams-Patriots Super Bowl; Tom Brady: ‘We’ll Remember This Forever’ – ProFootballTalk
And, apparently, it’s never going to end.
Tom Brady on the road in AFC Championship Games— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 21, 2019
- vs. Peyton Manning: 0-3
- vs. everyone else: 3-0 pic.twitter.com/UyojHys83s
WATCH: Patriots coach Bill Belichick spikes, throws tablet after late Chiefs touchdown | NFL | Sporting News
Belichick didn’t appear to like the referees’ response.
After a muffed punt was controversially overturned, the Chiefs intercepted Tom Brady on a pass that went off Julian Edelman’s fingertips.
It was pass interference. It was helmet-to-helmet, too. And if the officials call it, the Saints have first-and-goal at the 5 with 1:45 left. From there, the Rams would have been forced to burn their final timeout, and the Saints could have bled the clock dry and kicked a field goal to win the game with no time left.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton did not hide his feelings on the no-call on an apparent pass interference late in the fourth quarter of their loss to the Rams.
The Saints obviously have a bigger officiating complaint than the Chiefs do today. But Andy Reid took issue with a couple of calls in the Chiefs’ loss to the Patriots on Sunday. The first was obvious: Officials botched a roughing-the-passer call on Chris Jones.
Mike Zimmer had a great quote on that...."You better be able to play man to man in the NFL, I can go down to the 7-11 in Bloomington and find a Cover 2 corner." https://t.co/Axeq7y2LuJ— James Light (@JamesALight) January 20, 2019
Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman helped his team get to the Super Bowl on Sunday night when he drilled Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis on a third down pass late in the fourth quarter and somehow avoided a penalty for pass interference.
The wrong NFC team is going to the Super Bowl, and it’s all Bill Vinovich’s fault.
Rams cornerback Roby Coleman controversially wasn’t flagged for pass interference in the final two minutes of regulation.
Consider Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1: “The Commissioner has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the Commissioner deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game.”
The Saints are understandably salty about the failure of officials to throw a flag on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman for interfering with wide receiver Tommylee Lewis on a pass late in the fourth quarter, but there was still football to be played after the officiating crew swallowed their flag.
Marcus Peters had a message for angry Saints fans after the Rams’ win.
When you drunk with the boys at the bar then you see your wife walk in. pic.twitter.com/rWM0NyFTVH— McNeil (@Reflog_18) January 20, 2019
The Chiefs almost stopped Tom Brady after intercepting the Patriots legend with one minute to go. But the play was called back thanks to an offsides call on Dee Ford.
The Chiefs had the chance to put the game away with less than a minute left to play.
Todd Gurley was his own harshest critic after a lackluster performance, but is ‘grateful’ that his team picked him up and that the Rams prevailed and are heading to the Super Bowl.
Other NFL News
Following a heartbreaking defeat in the NFC Championship Game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he’ll talk with coaches and teammates, but a return in 2019 is in the cards.
“Man they got me last night in Buckhead,” Ridley wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Car Stolen. No such thing as a safe part of town so be careful. Grateful there was no violence, they just got me at the gas station & rode out.”
“I think that there was a sense of, around the league office and some of the people in leadership positions, they didn’t value that position the way it should have been valued, and how important it is,” Blandino said at the time. “During the season, other than the Commissioner, the head of officiating is probably the most public-facing person in the office. And those decisions that are made, I mean, these affect the outcome of games, and that’s your product on the field.”
The Dolphins might be two weeks away from hiring a head coach, but they’re moving on with Brian Flores’ staff.