Should The Drew Lock Era Be Over in Denver?

Since Peyton Manning retired after the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory, Denver had been unable to find a stabilizing force at quarterback. The Broncos have rotated signal callers for the past five years, helping them manage a measly 32-47: that’s including their loss to the Los Angeles Chargers this past Sunday.

When the Broncos drafted quarterback Drew Lock in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, John Elway and the rest of Denver’s front office thought they were getting their quarterback of the future. Unfortunately for them, Lock has not come as advertised.

Lock has been marred by both injuries and inconsistency. He has put up some great performances, like Denver’s Week 15 win over the Carolina Panthers, but he has not been able to string anything together. In addition, Lock has been unable to improve his performance in his sophomore season, arguably playing worse than he did in the five games he started as a rookie.

Passing Table
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Y/A Y/G Rate QBR
2019 23 DEN qb 3 5 5 4-1-0 100 156 64.1 1020 7 3 6.5 204.0 89.7 59.7
2020 24 DEN QB 3 12 12 4-8-0 229 402 57.0 2594 14 15 6.5 216.2 72.5 50.0
Career 17 17 8-9-0 329 558 59.0 3614 21 18 6.5 212.6 77.3
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2020.
Despite playing somewhat poorly in his rookie year, the Broncos were able to win four of the five games he started as a rookie. In 2020, that has been a completely different story, as Denver has managed to win only four of his 12 games as starter.

Lock’s turnover rate, as well as his completion percentage, paint the picture of a quarterback that either is not ready for the league, or just not the player everyone thought he was when he came out of college.

Now with that being said, Lock was picked in the second round of the draft, so it isn’t like the Broncos invested a top-10 pick in the guy. So would it be the worst thing in the world if Denver decided to move on from the former Mizzou Tiger?

I mean, the Washington Football Team just cut ties with its 2019 first round pick Dwayne Haskins. And it only took the Arizona Cardinals 13 starts for them to decide it was time to move on from the 2018’s number 10 pick Josh Rosen.<

It is possible that the Broncos still believe Lock is that guy, but at this point I highly doubt it. He is already 24-years-old and has been unable to produce at a high level. In today’s NFL, good quarterbacks seem to make a somewhat easy transition. That isn’t to say that every rookie QB comes in and lights the world on fire, but there are various examples of that happening over the past 10 years.

So when Lock continues to struggle despite it being his second year in the league there has to be doubt cast upon his ability to lead a franchise. If the Broncos decide to go into 2021 with Lock as their starter, they could be set up for another losing season.

– Jarrod Ribaudo (@jarrod_ribaudo on Twitter)

Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @AroundTheNFL

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