Is It Time To Move On From Drew Lock?

Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) looks to pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2017 and 2018, it was looking as though Missouri QB Drew Lock would end up being a first-round draft choice, however, he managed to slip into the second round, where the Denver Broncos took him with the 42nd overall pick. He started his career off with a thumb injury, which sidelined him until week 13 of 2019. He was named the Broncos’ starter immediately. His first career game saw him throw for 134 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He managed to lead the Broncos down the field in the final 15 seconds, due in large part to a pass interference call. This set Denver up to set a game-winning field goal as they beat the Chargers 23-20. His first season went quite well, but 2020 saw some regression from Lock. Now, the Broncos face a huge question: Is it time to move on from Drew Lock? Or does he deserve another season leading the Broncos?

The Good

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that Drew Lock is still young and inexperienced. At 24 years old, he’s started just 18 games in his career due to his thumb injury at the beginning of his first season, costing him 11 games, a shoulder injury, which cost him two games, and he was placed on the COVID-19 list for one week. He showed in college that he is a really talented quarterback, and his ceiling is high. In his final two seasons at Mizzou, he threw for 7462 yards, 72 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions in 26 games. That is really good to say the least. He has weapons around him, but those weapons haven’t always been so helpful. His receivers were notorious for dropping passes. The Broncos as a team had the fifth-highest dropped pass percentage at a whopping 5.6%, a total of 31 dropped passes throughout the duration of the year. This will obviously hurt a QB’s performance and stats. He’s a fairly mobile quarterback as well. Lock ran for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns and he scrambled a total of 22 times in 2020, averaging 6.0 yards per scramble. He was also pressured 118 times, a rate of 24.4%, and was only sacked a total of 19 times. It seems pretty clear that his teammates like him and he has a great personality, which is observed in his behavior on the sidelines. Lock has shown on multiple occasions that he can be a solid starter in the NFL.

The Bad

While there’s a lot of good to see in Drew Lock, there’s also plenty of bad. The most extreme of which would be his accuracy or lack thereof. His on-target pass percentage ranked last among QBs that started more than four games at just 68.9%. That’s not acceptable for a starting quarterback in the NFL and can be really detrimental to a team’s ability to be successful. His bad throw percentage also ranked the worst among the quarterbacks that started more than four games at 22.9%. His touchdown to interception ratio was almost 1:1 as he threw 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. A quarterback simply cannot get by throwing just 16 touchdowns over a 13-game span, especially when they’re throwing 15 interceptions on top of it. These aspects of Lock’s game need to change right away if he wants to continue to start in the NFL.

The Verdict

Overall, Drew Lock has a lot to offer as a quarterback in the NFL, but he has some major issues that need to be fixed as well. The Broncos currently sit at pick number nine in the draft this year, which is definitely in the range of possibly being able to take one of the top QBs. It really depends on who’s sitting there when Denver is on the clock, but if one of those top quarterbacks is available, it’s hard to see the Broncos passing up an opportunity to take one of them. In my latest mock draft, I have them landing one of the top QBs in the draft. It’s really contingent on who they have a chance to take. If one of those guys isn’t there at nine, I don’t see anyone else starting in Denver other than Drew Lock.