Nate Geary’s Top Five QBs: #2 Drew Lock

04/22/2019
DB+

2. Drew Lock (SR) – Missouri

 

Height: 6’4 Weight: 225 lbs

Career Stats: 50 GP, 12,193 passing yards, 99 TDs, 39 INTs, 56.9 comp. %

Player Comparison: Jay Cutler

Projected Round: 1

 

The Lowdown:

I’ve got Lock “locked” into my QB2 slot, a few notches behind my QB1, Kyler Murray, but it’s closer than I think most people are willing to admit. Lock has all the arm talent in the world. According to Benjamin Solak’s Contextualized Quarterbacking, Lock was elite in terms of accuracy on throws 20 yards and more, which certainly doesn’t appear to be the case when you look at his sub-60 percent completion percentage.

Like Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Lock’s key drawback from his four years at Missouri was his overall accuracy or lack thereof. The positive thing — and something as a scout you look at for growth potential — is that Lock’s accuracy increased every season from his freshman year on. In 12 games his freshman season, Lock finished with a 49-percent completion percentage, the lowest of his four-year career. His next two seasons saw subtle jumps (55% in 2016 and 58% in 2017), before he finally got over the 60-percent hump his senior season, completing 63-percent of his passes, marking a considerable turnaround. Part of that turnaround I think can be contributed to growing up, both physically and mentally. Most importantly, that acquired mental maturity helped him understand that just because he can make the throw doesn’t always mean the throw should be made.

What this really comes down to for Lock is whether can he come into an NFL offense that’s principled in his strengths as a downfield passer and whether he can play behind a good-to-great offensive line early in his career. Lock reminds me of the kind of quarterback that could be ruined by the type of season Jared Goff had his rookie year under Jeff Fisher, where he spent most of the time on his back throwing to aging, below replacement level players and poor coaching. His pocket presence and accuracy under pressure aren’t great, and he has flashed something at Missouri you saw from Goff his rookie season. If you can get him with a good, young, offensive-minded head coach with a veteran roster and a top-15 offensive line, Lock can flourish and shine in the modern NFL passing offense.

 

What They’re Saying:

”Inside of each game, Lock makes reads and throws that are worthy of an early pick. There will also be plays in the same game that highlight his random inaccuracy and issues defeating pocket pressure. He has as much pure talent as any quarterback from the 2018 draft, but he won’t reach that lofty potential unless he improves his accuracy and learns to play with better in-game presence.”

 -Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)

“Lock reminds some talent evaluators of Matthew Stafford. He reminds us of Jay Cutler. Wherever you are on the spectrum, the main takeaway is undeniable: He has a rocket right arm, and that is his biggest asset. He’s also an extremely accurate deep-ball thrower who plays with confidence.”

 -Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)

“Among the top QB prospects, Lock’s 73.7 overall grade outside the pocket ranks second and he has a 73.6 percent adjusted completion percentage on such plays. He also has shown some sneaky athleticism and rushed for 260 yards and six touchdowns for a 68.1 rushing grade.”

 -Pro Football Focus

 

 My Take:

There has been some momentum picking up as the draft continues closer that Lock will be the second quarterback off the board, and I think that’s where he ultimately ends up. If you’re a Bills fan, you’re probably looking for as many quarterbacks in the top eight picks as you can get, which would probably mean teams will have to trade up to do it. Teams I truly think will and should be in on Lock include Denver, Cincinnati, New York (Giants), Washington, and Los Angeles (Chargers). I think there is a big drop off after Murray and Lock, so as long as Murray comes off the board at one to the Cardinals, like many of us have expected since January, Lock could find himself coming off the board as early as the top-five.

Game Film:

 Vs. Memphis

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/gGl9ddw6CSrO29fox6/giphy.mp4" /]

One of those throws that Lock makes look ridiculously easy, like he’s throwing darts. The opponent isn’t overly competitive, but this was a game in which you saw things that could translate to the NFL.

 Vs. Memphis

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/ie0ka2IR7Tw26gP0Qb/giphy.mp4" /]

Another beauty from Lock, this time displaying tremendous touch. Again, we have to note the competition level and just how ridiculously wide open his receiver was, but you can still appreciate the touch and ball placement on this play – just how you teach it. I think you could also point out his ability to quickly read the weakness in the defense and deliver the ball quickly. Great all around from Lock.

Vs. Alabama

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/lOV06t45b6G4YBLBVq/giphy.mp4" /]

The competition is no longer Conference USA, but instead the class of the SEC. A good example of Lock trusting his arm strength too much and testing an NFL caliber player with a poorly thrown football. Lock leaves the ball way inside with what is an ill-advised decision and one you cannot see a lot in the NFL. NFL corners are too good to test, especially when you’re not putting it in a place that gives his receiver an opportunity to make the play. He puts his team in a difficult position early in the game, and this is a play you can find in numerous games over his four-year career.

Vs. Alabama

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/elhaQ29aiql1Xb2i2N/giphy.mp4" /]

On a pivotal third down conversion on third-and-very-long, Lock steps up and makes a big-time throw against a very good Alabama defense. Yes, it’s impressive that he did it against Bama, but the window he throws it through is the most impressive thing. To have the confidence to attempt this ball, and then to complete it with relative ease, is next level stuff. These are the sorts of plays you see that make you think lock has giant upside at the next level.

 Vs. Alabama

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/VGKWXqLNETqIjP2w8S/giphy.mp4" /]

Back to another head-scratching throw from Lock. Like his interception a few plays prior, this is one that shows up on film far too many times. With his arm strength, these kinds of throws should be made in his sleep. Instead, the ball comes out all sorts of funky, and he basically one-hops it to his receiver. At times, his football is an absolute nightmare, but in this instance, I think it’s a mental lapse because his feet were in decent enough position to make an accurate throw. It’s a good example of Lock trying to aim the ball and overthinking it, something a good coach will have to coach out of him

Vs. Alabama

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/UPX3hMEeL9i6Wv01td/giphy.mp4" /]

We’ll end on a high note — very high note. Holy cow.

Sure, he gets absolutely all day, and we all know he won’t happen with very much consistency in the NFL, but you can’t help but marvel at an unbelievable throw like this one. The thing that gets me with this throw and a lot of his throws is that he just makes it look so easy — just a flick of the wrist. He’s a passer first, and on this play, you see him utilize the time he was given by the Bama defense dropping eight guys back to find the hole at the very end. Impressive stuff.

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