Denver Broncos: The keys to unlocking quarterback Drew Lock

Drew Lock was one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Who is Drew Lock and why should Denver Broncos' fans be excited for this young gun?

When it came to the Denver Broncos and Drew Lock regarding the 2019 NFL Draft, the majority figured the Broncos would snag their future franchise quarterback in the first round of the draft. Denver decided to go in a different direction with their first two picks. When Lock was still on the board in the middle of the second round, however, John Elway chose to push the chips to the middle of the table and trade up for the young, Missouri quarterback.

I think Lock could be the pick to take John Elway off the warm seat and reassure the fan base that he is the right man for the job.

Drew Lock was one of my favorite prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. His athleticism, arm talent, and charismatic personality won many over. He was one of the most polarizing prospects, and his play style followed suit. Lock threw some of the prettiest balls in all of college football over his four-year tenure at Missouri; he also made some very confusing plays that didn’t turn out so well for the Tigers. Who is Drew Lock, and why could he be the Broncos’ future?

Getting to know Denver’s rookie quarterback

When you slide in Drew Lock’s college tape at Missouri, the first thing that you notice is his arm talent. Lock has a plus arm, and that is something Denver values highly in its QBs. Lock can sling the rock as well as anyone, throwing frozen ropes all over the field.

Many people compared him to Matthew Stafford for this very reason. He effortlessly can drive a ball outside the numbers or 25 yards downfield on a skinny post. He truly can attack any part of the field. Along with his rocket launcher for a right arm, Lock possesses a beautiful deep ball and often connected with receiver Emmanuel Hall in 2018.

In the clip below, he shows off his first-class arm talent against Georgia. When given time, Lock can tear defenses apart, and it showed as he broke the single-season SEC passing touchdown record in 2017.

Lock is also, as it was put at the 2018 Senior Bowl, sneaky athletic. He ran a 4.69 at the NFL Combine. I wish he would use his athleticism more when playing the game. When pressure faces Lock, he too often fades away. This causes his accuracy to dramatically decline, as his footwork goes to the wind. For Lock, footwork leads to many issues with accuracy.

This clip shows how his footwork impacts his throwing platform and subsequently, his accuracy. If Lock can be more consistent and throw off a strong base in the NFL, his game should get infinitely better. In a few instances last year, however, Lock did put his plus athleticism on display. He throws well on the move for doing so so infrequently. In this way, his game resembles the positive attributes of Josh Allen’s game at Wyoming. In Denver, I would like to see the Broncos get Lock rolling out more and use his mobility as a feature of his game. He was a high school basketball star and the Broncos shouldn’t let his athleticism go to waste.

In his final game at Missouri, Lock threw one of his best balls ever on the move against Oklahoma State.

Lock can take the next step and become what the Broncos need

If Drew Lock can use his athleticism as an asset to his game, I think he could take his game to the next level. It would help his development and hopefully slow the game down for the young signal-caller. I’d like to see Lock work on his footwork and how he faces pressure in his year behind Joe Flacco before he takes over, whenever that may be. It is holding him back at the moment as a passer.

The good news for Denver fans? Drew Lock noticeably improved every year he was in college. He has often discussed the impact former offensive coordinator Derek Dooley had on his game in 2018. Dooley gave Lock insight to both the mental preparation and tangible aspects of the game. He has also stated Dooley is the reason he went back for his senior year. Lock is still very much a young and unrefined passer, but with proper coaching, he has all the talent to be Denver’s next signal-caller.

The best thing the Denver Broncos can do for Drew Lock is to continue to boost the offensive line and work on the mental side of the game and mechanical flaws he possesses. Denver set itself up nicely in the last few drafts, securing key offensive talent. Players like Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Garrett Bolles, and Phillip Lindsay will only help Drew Lock as the Broncos groom him to step into the starting role whenever he’s ready. I was drawn to Lock’s infectious personality as a scout and thought he had what it took to improve in the NFL and take that next step. If the Denver Broncos and their fans buy in, Lock could have the keys to unlock more success for the Mile High faithful.

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