Broncos GM John Elway makes it clear Drew Lock hasn’t made it yet, but they are building around him

The Denver Broncos have seen a revolving door of quarterbacks come in under center following the retirement of Peyton Manning, but they appear to have found one that is worthy of sticking around for more than just a cup of coffee in Drew Lock. The second-round selection was able to go 4-1 in his five starts to end the 2019 season. That strong finish has him poised to start the 2020 campaign as QB1 in Denver despite a number of veteran quarterback (like Cam Newton and Jameis Winston) becoming available in free agency this offseason.  

“There are some [veteran] quarterbacks that are still available, but we decided that we’re going to build around Drew, give him that opportunity to take the job,” Broncos GM John Elway said during a video conference on Monday. 

Lock took ahold of the starting job in Week 13 of last season and performed well. He completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns and just three interceptions. Because of that small sample size, Elway admits that Lock still has a lot to prove to the brass for them to be concrete in their assessment that he can be their franchise quarterback going forward, but he’s off to a strong start. 

“We drafted him last year in the second round with the idea that hopefully he was going to be a guy that could step in,” he said. “Obviously we had Joe [Flacco] at that point in time and didn’t know exactly how that was going to work out. Hoped it would work out better than it did [for Flacco], but it didn’t. Then Drew got an opportunity to play late in the year, and I think he came in and showed us a lot of the things that he can do.

“By no means has Drew made it. We believe he’s got the potential to do it, and we think he’s just going to continue to get better and better. But he’s still in the learning process and know that he’s going to have to get better. But we really liked what we saw. We liked what we saw last year when he was on IR and how he tried to prepare himself and get ready to play when he had a chance to play. And then he came in and played very well, won four out of the last five games. We feel that he’s that guy.”

If you take the production over the course of Lock’s five-game sample size and calculate it out over a 16-game regular season, the 23-year-old would be looking at 3,264 yards through the air, around 22 touchdowns and just under 10 interceptions. Under those projections, Lock would have had more passing yards than Bills quarterback Josh Allen (3,089), been tied with Los Angeles Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield out of Cleveland in passing touchdowns and would have fewer interceptions than Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Arizona’s Kyler Murray and others. 

Of course, this is just a projection off of a very small sample and doesn’t include the eventual wear-and-tear of a regular season, but it does display some of Lock’s potential and could be looked at as a solid indicator for why Elway and company are looking to build around him going forward. 

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