The Denver Broncos could be in the market for a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft and Missouri’s Drew Lock could be on the team’s short list.
Though the Denver Broncos signed Case Keenum to a two-year, $36 million contract in the offseason, they are by no means settled at the quarterback position for the foreseeable future.
Keenum’s deal in itself is a bridge to something for the Broncos, whether it’s a contract extension for Keenum himself or a road to be paved for a young quarterback. Because of that fact, John Elway and the Broncos’ front office are making personal appearances once again for some of the country’s top quarterback prospects.
Last year at this time, Elway along with Matt Russell, Gary Kubiak, and others were making the rounds at some of the biggest games in the college football season to see some of the nation’s top quarterback prospects in person.
That list included and was pretty strictly limited to first-round quarterbacks.
The Broncos went to Josh Allen’s bowl game with Wyoming last year, and also made their way to Sam Darnold’s last game at USC and intended on going to Baker Mayfield’s last game for Oklahoma before a scheduling conflict with their end-of-season meetings.
They ended up visiting Mayfield at Oklahoma anyway, as well as coaching him in the Senior Bowl.
The Broncos also ended up visiting Josh Rosen and bringing him to the team facility. They appeared very serious and even intent on taking a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft but there are really no certainties in the NFL.
They ended up choosing Bradley Chubb over both Allen and Rosen after Mayfield and Darnold were off the board before Denver’s fifth-overall selection.
They are paying similarly close attention to quarterbacks this year, as John Elway along with the rest of his most trusted cohorts in the front office made their way to Eugene, Oregon, presumably to see potential top pick Justin Herbert in person earlier this season.
More recently, Elway and Kubiak made their way to Missouri to watch Drew Lock, another potential top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Lock has been a four-year starter for the Tigers, a piece of the college resumé the Broncos valued incredibly highly with the 2018 rookie class. It stands to reason they will value that experience from players again, and Lock has also shown elite traits over the course of his career.
He has a huge arm, perhaps not as good as Josh Allen, but he’s also been in a much better conference than Allen and has thrown 96 touchdown passes against those SEC teams, including 44 as a junior last season.
He was tasked with finding a way to reach the minimum 60 percent completion percentage threshold NFL scouts value so highly, and he did that this season, going over 63 percent.
Some scouts are leery of Lock’s accuracy, but that was vastly improved this season in my opinion.
The Broncos should definitely look to draft a quarterback at some point in the top three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. If they feel like Drew Lock can be the guy for the future of this franchise, they should go all-in to get him with the core of young talent that has now been established.