Rookie Rundown: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

Rookie Rundown: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

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Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Lock is considered as one of the top three quarterbacks in the 2019 draft though he’s often viewed as the third after the dual-threat Kyler Murray and the big-armed Dwayne Haskins. Still, at worst,  he’s expected to be a mid-first round selection and could rise as the draft approaches. He could leap-frog Haskins and even Murray depending on what an individual team is looking to add to their roster.

Lock started for his final two seasons in high school at Lee’s Summit, Missouri and threw for 3,060 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior, then 2,731 yards and 28 scores as a senior. He was ranked as the sixth-best pro-style quarterback in 2015 when he committed to the University of Missouri.

Height: 6-4
Weight: 225 pounds
40 time: 4.69 seconds

Lock became the starter at UM as a freshman when the Maty Mauk was suspended and later dismissed from the team with eight games left to play. Lock struggled in that first year and admitted he excelled in high school with natural talent and feel but that was no longer enough in college. The college coach that brought him in retired at the end of that year.

He finished his 2016 sophomore year as No. 1 in the SEC in passing yards (3,399).  Lock remained the starter all four years including setting the SEC record for touchdown passes in a regular season (43). Lock ended second all-time in the SEC in passing yards (12,193).

His allure is not only the healthy passing stats but playing in a pro-style offense that should quickly translate into NFL production. While Murray and Haskins received hype after the combine, there are plenty of coaches and analysts that believe Lock is the top quarterback prospect this year.

Year Games Runs Yards TD Pass Complete Yards Yards/Att TD Int QBR
2015 12 52 28 1 263 129 1332 5.1 4 8 90.5
2016 12 52 123 1 434 237 3399 7.8 23 10 133.3
2017 13 43 111 1 419 242 3964 10.2 44 13 165.7
2018 13 55 175 6 437 275 3498 8.0 28 8 147.7

Pros

  • Physically gifted and checks all the boxes for desirable physical traits.
  • Has ample arm strength and can make all throws. Can throw deep and can land the ball in the bucket downfield.
  • Has the zip to throw into a tight window and prevents the defender from having much time to react to the pass.
  • Mobile enough for modest gains but is a pocket passer that knows when to get rid of the ball. Doesn’t often hold onto the ball too long.
  • Stands tall in the pocket and surveys the entire field.
  • Highly competitive with a very cool demeanor.  Hard worker and natural leader that teammates respect and like. He’s mature and experienced in a pro-style offense.
  • Above-average accuracy and was the most impressive with short and intermediate passes at the combine.
  • Durable and avoids injury.

Cons

  • Draws criticism over decision making when playing under pressure. Will need a solid offensive line to prevent him from making hurried throws and forcing the ball until he is acclimated to the pro game. Was noted to improve as a senior.
  • Ball security concerns. Fumbled 16 times over his four years and lost eight of them.
  • Doesn’t throw as well outside the pocket. Will run when needed but strongly prefers to pass.
  • Can be too aggressive when throwing into bad situations.
  • Needs to improve footwork.

Fantasy outlook

As with almost all college players, there is a wide range in how analysts and coaches view Lock. He’s been compared to Paxton Lynch,  Patrick Mahomes and most spots in between. He brings in the prototypical size of a pocket passer and succeeded in college in an offensive system that will be similar to wherever he lands. In an age of so many college quarterbacks blending equally as passers and rushers, Lock is the throwback passer. His style translates very well into existing offenses.

He’ll be best served going to a team that has both a solid offensive line and a top quarterbacks coach. He can be a Day One starter (and likely will be) but he still needs to progress as a decision maker. If he can start out with the right tutelage about his footwork and reading defenses, Lock could turn in a solid fantasy season even as a rookie. Spending a year just learning (ala Mahomes) would be beneficial as well.

Lock is not a willing rusher and that limits what he can deliver in fantasy points. He’ll be heavily dependent on landing in the right offense with talented receivers already present to prove a Year One factor in fantasy. But his long-term prospect is high in a league that loves to pass and where pocket passers tend to remain healthier and play longer careers than those who combine significant rushing attempts in their style of play.

The teams that are speculated to select him are the Giants (1.06), Broncos (1.10), Dolphins (1.13) and  Redskins (1.15). But there will likely be trades that will shake up the order and Lock is one player that could spark a team to trade up. He’s even been associated with the Patriots if he falls in the draft which would be an ideal situation. Unfortunately, the teams that are most likely to select him are all in a rebuilding mode that will depress what Lock can offer as a rookie.

 

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