Rookie Scouting Report: Quarterback Drew Lock

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 19, 2019

Despite starting all four years at Missouri, there’s still some rough spots to Drew Lock’s game

Drew Lock, Missouri

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 228 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.70 seconds
Hand Size: 9.0 inches

It seemed as if Lock was someone who was locked into a top-10 selection back in January, but it appears many have backed off on him for whatever reason. He’s a big-armed quarterback who has the biggest resume among the top-tier quarterbacks entering the draft, throwing over 1,500 pass attempts while in college. Is he as polished as he should be considering that or is there still room to improve his game significantly?

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During his time at Missouri, he completed just 56.9 percent of his passes, though it’s worth noting he increased his completion percentage every year, topping out at 62.9 percent in 2018. His yards per attempt did dip from 9.5 in 2017 to just 8.0 in 2018, which could be why he completed more of his passes, as the depth of targets appeared to come down. His touchdown to interception ratio of 2.54:1 doesn’t quite match the marks of Dwayne Haskins (6.0:1) and Kyler Murray (3.57:1), but was that a product of his offense and the talent around him? He did finish his college career strong, throwing 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions over his final seven games.

Arm Strength/Throwing Mechanics: 3.0 out of 5 stars
He has a massive arm and he knows it but that causes him problems with his mechanics. He will rely too much on his arm strength, even when he doesn’t have to. There were times he’d be falling off to the side when there was no defender within five yards of him. He needs to step into his throws when he has the room to do so, because those throws into tight coverage are going to get tougher at the next level. His arm is strong enough to make all necessary throws in the NFL, as there would be no limitations to the plays that are called. Him setting his feet is a serious problem for a guy who played in 50 college games. His arm isn’t an issue (it’s actually a strength), but his mechanics are legitimately bad.

Accuracy: 3.0 out of 5 stars
There are many who’ll assume his accuracy is bad because of his completion percentage, but I don’t think accuracy is the issue, but rather his decision-making and/or vision. He often puts the ball in a catchable spot, though he regularly relies on his receivers to make contested catches. He throws a pretty back-shoulder throw along the sideline. He also gets good air under his deep ball and regularly showed good touch on those passes, which is why that was my favorite part of his game.

Mobility: 2.0 out of 5 stars
He’s not going to rush for many yards in the NFL. He has some athletic ability, which allows him to scramble for five yards if needed, but you won’t be calling any designed runs for him. He’s a willing runner who’ll take off and dive forward for a few yards if necessary, but he won’t be known for his mobility. Fortunately, he does have enough athleticism to escape some pressure and extend the play, which is what you’d like out of a traditional pocket-passer.

Pocket Awareness: 2.0 out of 5 stars
He doesn’t feel pressure on his backside nearly as much as he should, as you watched him get the ball stripped from behind twice in the Georgia game alone. You’ll see him standing flat-footed at times, which can create issues when there’s sudden pressure. He needs a better internal clock at the next level because he’s not going to be able to sit back and pat the ball like he did at Missouri. He also needs to learn to step into the pocket and climb the ladder, as it will help him start throwing with better mechanics as well.

Vision/Decision-Making: 2.0 out of 5 stars
He will throw the ball into tight windows because he believes in his arm strength, but there’s an issue with his decision-making, as he does it all too often. He will also put his receivers in bad positions too often, as they’ll catch the ball on a crossing route and get hammered as soon as the ball hits their hands. He needs to be more aware of where defenders are on the field or his receivers are going to start short-arming passes. I’m pretty sure three of his receivers suffered concussions in the game against Oklahoma State due to Lock putting them in a bad spot.

Anticipation: 2.0 out of 5 stars
You rarely ever see him get to the top of his drop and throw the ball, which isn’t ideal. He’s someone who likes to see the play develop rather than playing with anticipation. He often waits for receivers to get out of their breaks before throwing the ball, which comes down to him likely trusting his arm more than he should.

Potential Landing Spot
When a quarterback with his arm strength gets four years as a starter in college, you’d expect them to be more pro-ready than him, which tells me you may never see the player you’d hoped you would. Still, there’s going to be teams who believe they can fix his mechanics and turn him into a more consistent passer. The Broncos are in the area of the draft where Lock should go, and they just happen to have a need at quarterback. Joe Flacco will be taking the reigns for now while Lock could sit behind him and work on his footwork/mental processing skills. He’s likely going to be forced to play before he should, which can hurt him more than most.

NFL Comparison
Hmm, what quarterback in recent history had an incredible arm but made too many questionable decisions while throwing off poor platforms? Jay Cutler is the perfect comparison for Lock, though Cutler had an even better arm. Both throw off their back foot far more than they should, but they’ll make some throws that make you stop and wonder about the possibilities. Had Cutler been properly brought along in his development, he may have been a top-10 quarterback for a long time. I don’t think Lock has that ceiling, but he’s likely going to get the chance to play somewhere in 2019. If you want to know the type of player you’re getting with Lock, Cutler is likely the ceiling right now.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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