• Montae Spiller

Is Lock the Key?

With the season in the books, what direction will the Denver Broncos go for the future of the Quarterback position?

“...it's safe to say Lock feels very secure in his position as the starter. All athletes knowing competition breeds results."

Ready to Lock and Load

Drew Lock, drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos, was seen as the spark that the QB room needed for the organization. Opening the year behind a very declined Joe Flacco and a very disappointing start to the season, Lock with five games left was given the keys to the offense. In five games, passing for 1,020 yards seven touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 64.1 percent of his passes and going 4-1 as a starter in his rookie campaign the Broncos faithful begin to have hope! Hope that has been lost at the Quarterback position since Peyton Manning retired. Fast forward to today, through a season of football in the pandemic, with various injuries across the board for the Broncos, Lock played 13 games and missed four games due to an AC Joint Sprain suffered early in the season. Lock has totaled 2,933 yards on 57 percent completion with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. With his best statistical game coming in a 32-37 victory over the Panthers, where he threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions. Now having played 18 games and essentially a full season of football under his belt, the question most Broncos faithful and even myself have asked is Lock the key?

We start by answering what is Lock the Key of? With the Chiefs being the top of the AFC Conference and the AFC West, that leaves the Broncos and the Chargers who are currently looking for a new Head Coach to pair with their franchise QB in Justin Herbert fighting to be consistent wild card teams. If you are a Raiders fan reading this, I am sorry-not really, your team will always just do something Raiders-like to lose games. So can Lock be the key of a consistent wild card team, I think yes. Trust me I have struggled through this season watching some horrible games, along with some horrible decision making by Drew and the coaching staff on the offensive side. But with this extremely young team all gaining experience at the same time, along with adding some veterans back on both sides of the ball and adding a competent offense to what has been a stout defense, things can be looking up for the Broncos faithful! I think Lock needs three things.

Firstly, footwork! I credit Tim Jenkins for this. I have watched numerous of his Drew Lock breakdowns. Lock’s footwork throws off the timing of his throws, even the simple ones. In the NFL you are playing with the best of the best, being a split second back in timing-especially at the QB position- is the difference between throwing a touchdown (or even just keeping the chains moving) versus throwing an interception.

Secondly, the Broncos must ditch this run-first offense. The NFL has moved on from a run -first offense. The two teams that run this offense, which are the Titans, who have Derrick Henry, and the Ravens, who have Lamar Jackson ,I think being run-first speaks for itself in those instances. I’m not saying the Broncos need to be the Chiefs and just throw the home-run ball 20 times a game, but we are doing no benefit to Drew by handing the ball off. We do not have the running backs to lead an offense like that and with drafting two WRs in the 2020 draft and in the 2019 draft, getting Lock along with Noah Fant- a pass catching TE- the Broncos have obviously been emphasizing a passing offense. Instead of emphasizing that just in the draft, please for the love of God let us show that emphasis on the field.

Finally, I think Lock needs a threat to his throne. He needs a QB to come in FOR CHEAP! I repeat FOR CHEAP. We don’t need to be giving up draft capital trading for some rental of a QB. If the Broncos trade anything in the first 3 rounds for anybody, but Tom Brady or Jesus Christ himself, I will just have to decide to enter the NFL Fan Transfer Portal. Bring in a reliable back-up that can teach Lock some things, but also give him some competition. Brett Rypien almost had his jersey added to my collection with his win over the Jets, but even looking back at that performance he threw for 242 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. So it's safe to say Lock feels very secure in his position as the starter. All athletes knowing competition breeds results. An experienced, reliable back-up might push both Lock and Rypien and speed up what has felt like some slow development. Now I will say, with the 10th pick if we decide to draft a QB, it better be the one and only Justin Fields,who is rumored to slide in the draft a little bit. If that’s the case, welp let’s just pull the trigger and figure it out from there.

Lock is the key, barring any crazy slides in the draft. Lock is the returning starter for the Denver Broncos. I as a fan am excited to see the progress with key additions from Injury Reserve on both sides of the ball and seeing Lock progress could really push us out of this realm of mediocre teams that the Broncos have been stuck in. The AFC West is in very good hands with the Quarterbacks of Patrick “Jesus Christ” Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Drew Lock. Derrick Carr and the Raiders can kick rocks!

-Montae Spiller, 23

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