Drew Lock, QB
School: Missouri | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 225 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st Round
NFL Comparison: Jay Cutler
With a need at QB1, Redskins fans should not be surprised to hear Drew Lock’s name called by Washington on the first night of the draft. He has all the talent and upside that the team has been looking for. As a four star recruit coming out of Lee’s Summit High School near Kansas City, Lock decided to keep his talents in-state and accepted an offer to play for the University of Missouri. He had also received offers from Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan State and Texas to name a few.
Upon arrival to Columbia, Missouri, Drew was not supposed to be the immediate starter for the Tigers. Junior QB Maty Mauk was the starter at the time; however he was suspended after the first four games of the season, which signaled the beginning of the Drew Lock era. Lock ended up struggling his freshmen year after being thrown to the wolves that are the defenses of the SEC Conference. Things vastly improved from there as he never relinquished his role as the starting quarterback. By his junior season he had finally blossomed into the offensive juggernaut that his coaches had hoped for. He finished 2017 with a FBS leading 44 touchdown passes, which is a single season record for the SEC conference. His junior season effort led to a nod as a First Team All-SEC selection. At this point, Lock decided to forgo the NFL Draft and returned to Columbia for his senior season. Lock had a bit of a statistical regression in his senior season, but he was still able to garner Second Team All-SEC honors in 2018. Critics have been quick to point out the drop in numbers from his junior to senior seasons. While the numbers don’t lie, it was evident by watching film that his receiving corps did him no favors by accumulating numerous dropped passes in each contest. It should also be noted that Lock had a new offensive coordinator and QB coach, Derek Dooley, for his final year on campus. Dooley previously had no experience actually calling plays at the collegiate level.
If Drew Lock has one defining quality it would be his absolute rocket launcher of an arm. There shouldn’t be any throw in the NFL that this kid can’t make. In fact, on day one in Redskins Park in Ashburn, he would probably have the biggest arm in the NFC East. He backs that up with a very quick and snappy delivery that would make any scout drool over. Where he needs to improve the most is his footwork, which can only be described as gross. There are times where it appears that he is actually falling away from his throws as the ball is leaving his hand. From an observation standpoint, it seems as if his low completion percentage (which did actually improve each year in college) could possibly be attributed to his terrible footwork. The good news here is that footwork can be corrected.
- Has a very live arm that can make any NFL throw and should help a struggling offense (see the Washington Redskins) push the ball down the field
- He is blessed with a gunslinger mentality that allows him to have the confidence to push the ball into tight windows and have the short memory to keep firing after a mistake
- Way more athletic than he is given credit for. While he may not be the fastest QB in Indy for the combine, he made plays with his feet look easy when he needed to
- Has ideal size for the QB position in the NFL
- Has plenty of experience, starting 46 games, with most of them coming against SEC defenses
- Has a lightning fast release with excellent arm motion and form
- As stated before, Lock clearly struggles with his footwork. He had way too many throws where his feet were not properly set, often causing balls to sail
- Accuracy has been a problem of his throughout college, however his completion percentage did improve each season as a starter and he was asked to throw the deep ball more often than any other QB in the SEC
- Needs to work on his touch with short routes. Often puts way too much heat on passes that do not require such velocity
- Will sometimes stare down his intended target after the snap. This will lead to a steady number of turnovers at the next level if not corrected
Let’s See His Work:
While he doesn’t have the height of Peyton Manning or the bulk of Big Ben, Lock has the size, 6’ 4” 225, which will make him an ideal candidate for a franchise QB at the next level.
Arm Talent: 9.5/10
He possesses the best arm of anybody in this draft class. This is the one trait that you cannot teach or correct. You either have it or you don’t. This score would have been higher, however I do not believe in giving a perfect score to anyone who has never taken a snap at the pro level.
As stated repeatedly, Lock has struggled with his completion percentage. While he did improve throughout college there is still room for improvement. Any competent QB coach should be able to help him out.
While he will never be confused for Michael Vick, he is more athletic and mobile than people realize. Film review showed Lock was able to make plays with his feet as the pocket broke down, often resulting in decent gains.
Mental Processing: 11/15
Lock could stand to get practice in working through his progressions. Often locking onto his first read and then going to his next options way too late. He would have lost more points here, but he has shown success against the complex defensive schemes unleashed by SEC teams.
This is another category where the score should have been higher. If we were basing his mechanics from the waist up, he would have come close to a perfect score. His delivery is smooth, over the top and the ball just jumps out of his hand. However, thanks to some poor footwork, he has to settle for a downgrade in this category.
From a leadership standpoint, he does not have the on or off-field flags that some pro prospects carry. However, the word coming out of Columbia is that his coaches felt he lacked the vocal presence that normally comes with the QB position. NFL huddles need a vocal leader to thrive.
With his vast experience against top college talent it’s safe to say he has plenty of big game experience, but he has not been known for many last-minute game winning drives...yet.
Overall Grade: 76.5/100
How He’d Fit on the Redskins
So here is where we are as a team, one year removed from a trade to acquire Alex Smith as the new starting QB, a few months removed from said Quarterback suffering a gruesome leg injury which may jeopardize his career, a current state of uncertainty at the position moving forward and salary cap issues. Ya, I’d say that about sums it up. Sprinkle in a heavy dose of fan disdain and negative publicity and we have all the makings of a Dan Snyder push for drafting a QB with the team’s first round pick. You may not agree with the decision (as most fans do not agree with this team’s choices lately), but this appears to be a very real scenario. After all, nothing sells tickets to disenchanted fans better than hope and a shiny new quarterback. Right?
People may say, but is Lock the type of Quarterback that fits into Jay Gruden’s system? My answer is simple….who cares! He is a future pro bowler in this league. Even though this front office continues to amaze me, I still have to assume that Gruden won’t be head coach of this team for very much longer. Forget the current standings of the organization; it’s really just how the NFL works. Put together a respectable product or else. If we are going to use our first pick on a QB, we should be considering the future, not short term.
Lock is the type of QB that is willing to let the ball fly, can stretch the field and put up points. This is the direction the league is heading. Just look at the scoreboards each week. In what many consider a weak draft class, Drew Lock is an absolute standout. The only real question is, with four QB needy teams selecting in front of us (Giants, Jags, Broncos & Dolphins), will Lock even be available at 15? Stay tuned Skins fans.