Every draft season we try to find the next great quarterback prospect and this year the hot name is Missouri’s Drew Lock. Equipped with a strong arm Lock has been getting some lofty hype concerning being a first round pick and even some big comparisons. Here we’ll take a look at Lock’s traits and what his projection is.
Drew Lock’s Best Strengths
Missouri QB Drew Lock showing the velocity to drive the ball to the WR on a comeback route pic.twitter.com/VMsm6toATf
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 4, 2018
When you read or watch anything about Drew Lock the first thing you’ll probably hear about is how strong his arm is. Lock has good size with his 6’4 225lb frame he’s able to drive the ball downfield and fit the ball into small windows. In Missouri’s offense Lock is asked to make several quick throws getting the ball out fast to their receivers in space. Lock’s arm strength allows the Tigers to spread out defenses and get the ball to him as fast as possible. The further down the field he gets the arm strength continues to show up as he can drive the ball to receivers on comeback routes while the ball can just jump out of his hand.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 19, 2018
Most quarterbacks who have a big arm struggle with anticipation because their arm strength allows them to wait for receivers to get open and then rifle the ball in. Drew Lock will still do this at times staring down receivers till their open before delivering the pass. But he also shows the ability to see receivers getting open before they make their breaks and making the throw knowing that it will get them the ball. If Lock can continue to improve on his anticipation and learn not to stare down receivers at times he can take his game to the next level.
Drew Lock’s Biggest Weakness
On a deep throw where the WR has the DB best had the ball off target and fell incomplete pic.twitter.com/PbxuGEqAhu
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 4, 2018
While Buffalo Bills Josh Allen was hammered for being an inaccurate thrower, Drew Lock tends to miss on receivers more frequently and has a similar completion percentage of 54%. This is two fold as both his deep accuracy and touch cause many of those incompletions. On short and intermediate throws Lock’s arm strength can lead to laser throws that end up making it difficult for his receivers to reel them in and have lead to a few tipped ball interceptions. And despite his arm strength where getting the ball downfield isn’t an issue, the balls are often times short as he tries to drop the ball in or he can put not enough touch on them and they go over the receivers head. One one throw Lock will perfectly drop the ball into his receiver down the sideline, while the next deep ball will be short and the wide open receiver will have to slow down and dive to try and make the catch.
You can say all you want about not liking to compare college players to current or former NFL players, but we all know NFL decision makers do it, so to ignore it would be foolish. Throughout this summer and even into parts of the 2018 NFL Draft process we’ve heard lots of players Drew Lock has been compared to. Daniel Jeremiah compares him to Patrick Mahomes while Lance Zierlein drew the Matthew Stafford comp.
In terms of the positives on Drew Lock, he's quick to influence safeties with his eyes and push them away from where he wants to go. He rarely allows his eyes to linger which prevents early jumps from DBs and he is very reminiscent of Matthew Stafford on many fronts.
— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) June 2, 2018
While neither media member is willing to go all in on those comparisons and they are just players that Lock reminds them of the big part of that has to do with his arm strength. Out of those two players I like the Stafford comparison a lot better, but I’m not ready to go that far. Unfortunately Lock also resembles two other players in another former Missouri Tiger in Blaine Gabbert and Josh Allen. Lock, Gabbert and Allen all have good size and arm strength but both have some major flaws with inconsistent accuracy. Who Drew Lock falls somewhere between all of these prospects and we’ll get to know him a lot more as he works through his senior season.
Where does that leave us with Drew Lock? I was glad that Lock went back for his senior year because it gives him a chance to continue his development and have a chance to prove himself further. Because we cannot ignore that Lock thrived on poor competition while struggling against the best teams on his schedule. If Lock wants to be a serious candidate for the top quarterback in this class and a first round pick he needs to shore up his accuracy issues and play better against the top teams on his schedule. He’ll get a chance against both Georgia and Alabama early in the 2018 season. However as it looks now, he will face a lot of the same critiques that Josh Allen had to deal with last year.