Sunday afternoon was not a banner day for Drew Lock or the Denver Broncos.
This was one of those colossal beatdowns that should make even the most obtuse people have a reality check. Denver is never going to win another division crown as long as they are at this great of a quarterbacking deficit. As long as the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, the Broncos have only a snowball’s chance in hell to beat Kansas City with any consistency. Drew Lock is just a guy.
Lock was the fourth quarterback taken in a weak 2019 quarterback class. Kyler Murray looks to be the best of the bunch with the Arizona Cardinals, but he is far from a polished product in Kliff Kingsbury’s NFL version of the Air Raid offense. While it’s too early to bail on Daniel Jones with the New York Giants, the Washington Football Team has already bailed on Dwayne Haskins.
While all three of those teams have seen varying results with their quarterback play, at least all three NFC clubs were and have been honest with themselves throughout the quarterback evaluation process. Arizona knew Josh Rosen didn’t have it. New York understood that Eli Manning was rapidly decaying as a passer. Washington has admitted defeat in drafting Haskins in 2019.
Will Denver Broncos draft a quarterback in 2021?
Unfortunately, the Broncos lie to themselves more than any other NFL franchise when it comes to the quarterback position. Since John Elway retired after winning Super Bowl 33 in 1998, they have had one, maybe two good quarterbacks play for them: Peyton Manning and at times, Jake Plummer. Lock was more of idea than a serious playmaker in the SEC at Missouri, and it shows.
As Denver falls to 2-4 on the season, the Broncos are clearly the worst team in the AFC West behind the Chiefs, the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers. Mahomes, Derek Carr and Justin Herbert are all better quarterbacks than Lock. At various points early in their respective careers, they all showed signs of “oh, this is going to work.” We’re still waiting on Lock for his.
The Broncos are not likely to end up in the Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields sweepstakes in the 2021 NFL Draft. That’s a shame because Lawrence is the next Elway and Fields is the next Steve Young. Maybe the Broncos try their luck with Trey Lance out of North Dakota State and hope he’s the next Carson Wentz? Kyle Trask out of Florida might be a better pro-style player over Lock, too.
Ultimately, you need a quarterback to provide your team with some level of a galvanizing presence. Lock may have a long career in the NFL, but he’s feeling more stop-gap and clipboard holder than he does a face of the franchise. Gardner Minshew is doing more with less on the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he’s on the precipice of getting benched.
Lock is not the key to anything.