Earlier this week, I had a chance to speak with Just_JoRo from Mile High Report, SB Nation’s Denver Broncos site, to get a close look at today’s opponent for the Miami Dolphins. When we spoke, it appeared Brett Rypien would be the top quarterback for Denver as a ribs injury sidelined starter Drew Lock in practice. On Saturday, however, that changed as reports indicated Lock would be available to play.
I reached out to Just_JoRo again, hoping to get a closer look at Lock. He came through with a good breakdown of Denver’s starter.
Drew Lock’s strengths lay in his arm talent and aggressiveness. When he hangs in the pocket and finds his receiver downfield he can really zing the ball to his receivers. I’d say his arm is in the upper third of starting quarterbacks in the league. He’s also a solid athlete who brings the ability to make plays out of structure. For this reason, don’t be surprised if he’s used on playaction rollouts as it helps him get in rhythm and away from pressure.
Lock’s struggles are quite extensive at this point. First and foremost, I think he’s struggled with the mental processing a quarterback needs to handle to be a successful quarterback. Some of this is inexperience, which is understandable. A rather alarming part of it is not, however. Lock has had issues reading the field both pre and post snap this season, and he has trouble looking off his primary read to find a second receiver if there’s any hint of pressure. Beyond this, Lock’s mechanics are a hot mess. He doesn’t always connect his lower body to his upper, which will cause balls to sail or die early on him. This shows up most when he feels as if he’s under duress. Oftentimes you’ll see him bailing out of a pocket he could step up in, or fade away when there’s no interior pressure. This puts his tackles in a tough spot and he’s gotten into the habit of scrambling into trouble.
Beyond that, his aggressiveness and propensity to throw 50-50 balls will mean he often ignores an easy completion to give his first read a chance. It’s a big reason why he’s struggled with interceptions this season.
Just_JoRo also mentioned an expanded look at Lock he wrote back in October. It is another good in-depth breakdown of Lock.
A special thank you to Just_JoRo for taking the time earlier in the week to speak with me, then coming back to add to it when the quarterback situation changed.