The Broncos have been looking for their franchise quarterback since the retirement of Peyton Manning in 2016. General manager John Elway has searched high and low, shaking every tree to see if a franchise quarterback could land into his lap.
With the 42nd overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, Drew Lock fell right into the hands of Elway. Is Lock really “The Guy?”
Broncos Country is excited and confident that Lock is the quarterback of the future and can be the guy to get this franchise back into the playoffs and compete for a world championship. Broncos Country was also excited about another quarterback who started his career with a 4-1 record.
That quarterback was Trevor Siemian.
Let’s break down the first five games between Lock and Siemian.
Siemian: 4-1 record, 7 TDs, 3 INT, 1,054 yards passing, 64.9% completion, and a 92.4 quarterback rating
Lock: 4-1 record, 7 TDs, 3 INT, 1,020 yards passing, 64.1% completion, and a 89.7 quarterback rating
Analysts were ready to give Siemian a monster contract after his 4-1 start. Siemian ended up closing out the season with an 8-6 record. He proved that he should be the starting quarterback the following season, but finished with a 5-5 record as the starter.
Lock ran the same type of system on offense that Siemian ran when he was wearing the orange and blue. Lock has proven that he deserves to start all 16 games in the 2020 season, but it’s time to pump the breaks on the second-round pick.
Even though Lock went 42nd overall and was the third player drafted by the Broncos last year, the organization needs to treat him like the 10th overall pick that they had entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
Some might say that Siemian had a better team around him after coming off of a Super Bowl victory. Well, that’s not the case.
Lock and Siemian both played with bottom-of-the-league offensive lines that continued to struggle. Both quarterbacks had 1,000-yard rushers in C.J. Anderson and Phillip Lindsay. Siemian did have both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but no tight end. Lock has 1,000-yard wide receiver in Courtland Sutton and future Pro Bowl tight end Noah Fant.
History shows that second-round quarterbacks don’t have much success in the NFL. Of the previous six quarterbacks drafted in the second round, only one will have started a playoff game after this weekend. That gunslinger is Jimmy Garoppolo. It took him to get to his second NFL team before starting in a playoff game.
From the common draft in 1967 to this past season’s draft, 58 quarterbacks have been drafted in the second round, only 18 will have started a playoff game. That’s 31 percent! Only three of those quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl.
Lock has arguably been the Broncos best quarterback since Siemian. He has given the city of Denver some hope for the future. But all of the odds are against the Mizzou alumni. Lock can beat the odds if he can get this franchise back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.
Lock and Siemian both spent time with Manning throughout their playing seasons. And both talked about having offseason passing workouts with their wide receivers, but it never happened with Siemian. We’ll have to wait and see if Lock stays to his word and works with his wide receivers this offseason.
Lock is expected to put the work in by learning from Elway and Manning. If Lock struggles in 2020 and the Broncos team fails to make the playoffs for a fifth-straight year, it will be time for the Broncos to blow this whole thing up and start over in 2021.
Drew Lock has shown he can be the future, but he has to prove it in 2020 by leading the Broncos to the playoffs for the first time since Peyton Manning was behind center for the Broncos.