Drew Lock: 5 reasons Broncos fans should be keeping the faith

Denver Broncos QB #3 Drew Lock. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos QB #3 Drew Lock. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Derek Carr, Drew Lock
Nov 8, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Waiting has been a good idea for other clubs

Unless you have a clear opportunity to upgrade at the quarterback position, looking for alternatives year in and year out is rarely the right way to go.

Ask the Cleveland Browns, who took 20 years to find Baker Mayfield.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. That doesn’t have to mean cutting ties with your current option and starting fresh.

I will give you a few examples of how patience has worked with multiple other NFL clubs.

Derek Carr, Raiders

Derek Carr started all 16 games as a rookie with the (then) Oakland Raiders. They went 3-13 as he completed just over 58 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 12 picks.

Carr had a breakout 32-touchdown campaign in his second NFL season and helped lead the Raiders to the postseason by year three.

In 2017, Carr’s production and effectiveness inexplicably took a nosedive from what it had been the previous two seasons, and the Raiders hired Jon Gruden in 2018 to a 10-year contract. Everyone assumed the end was near for Carr, but Gruden’s arrival was merely the beginning of Carr’s re-birth.

Carr took his lumps in 2018 as the Raiders went 4-12. He was thought of as a clear candidate for trade or release, or that Gruden and Mike Mayock would certainly move on from him in the NFL Draft somehow.

In 2019, his TD percentage climbed back up, his completion percentage increased, and his interception percentage went down.

In 2020, Carr is playing the best football of his NFL career with the highest TD percentage (6.2) and lowest interception percentage (0.8) he has ever had. The Raiders are the only team in nearly a calendar year to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs. Carr is a big reason for that.

Carr has developed within Gruden’s offense and the Raiders have slowly built the team around him. Now, he’s rewarding them with the best play of his life.

Josh Allen, Bills

This is one of the most common examples referred to when talking about a modern exercise in patience.

Josh Allen was inaccurate in college at Wyoming, but the big splashes were definitely there.

He was inaccurate his first year in the NFL, but the Bills were winning in spite of Allen’s rocky development. For 28 games, the Bills watched as Allen had the worst completion percentage in the entire NFL — literally — for two straight seasons.

The Bills bought into the good from Josh Allen, and their patience has paid off tremendously. Despite his accuracy issues, the Bills won 15 of his first 27 starts and made the playoffs in Allen’s second year as the starter.

In year three, Allen’s completion percentage has climbed up to 68.9 percent and he is a legitimate MVP candidate with 19 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through nine games. His 19 passing touchdowns through nine games this season are one off of his career-high of 20 in all of the 2019 season.

It was slow going for plenty of other quarterbacks around the league. Jared Goff was labeled a bust after his first year with the Los Angeles Rams. Many have called for Baker Mayfield to be replaced in Cleveland after a down 2018 season.

Plenty of NFL quarterbacks, even much higher draft picks than Lock, have needed time and consistency in terms of coaching and scheme to be successful.