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 /
5 of 6
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 18: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos attempts a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

4. The Broncos are rebuilding

Denver Broncos fans have to be aware that over the past three seasons, the team has been rebuilding.

Would the Broncos like to win while they build?

Who wouldn’t?

The fact of the matter is, the Broncos are in their third year of a rebuild that started back in 2018 when the team hit a rock bottom of sorts and picked fifth overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Slowly but surely the Broncos have been collecting pieces and trying to win in the process, but they are only a couple of injuries away from being a bottom-10 team in the league.

If everything would go the Broncos’ way, they might be a playoff-caliber team. The problem is, this is a team with the youngest average age for offensive skill players in the NFL and the defense has had too many injuries to really carry the offense anywhere.

These would be bad excuses if the Broncos were led by 2013 Peyton Manning, but that’s not who Drew Lock is.

Lock is growing as the team is rebuilding. No one was under the illusion that the Denver Broncos were going to win the Super Bowl in 2020 unless Lock took that Mahomes-like leap in his second NFL season.

Not only are the Broncos rebuilding, but they are also having to do it while taking on all of these major injuries.

They lost their best offensive and defensive player (Courtland Sutton, Von Miller) before the season even started. The defensive line has been depleted. The offensive skill positions have had dings all year long. Heck, even Lock himself went down for nearly a month and missed nearly three full games.

Injuries are part of life in the NFL, but the Broncos are truly experiencing an unprecedented number of injuries and to critical players on their roster. That is compounded by COVID-19 and the Broncos having to go multiple weeks in a row without their most expensive free agent addition in 2020, offensive guard Graham Glasgow.

The Broncos have been dealing with injuries, but they have also had growing pains from other players whose success is directly tied to Lock’s.

It starts with rookie center Lloyd Cushenberry III, who is responsible for making calls on the line, getting the ball to Lock cleanly, and also preventing interior pressure.

That has proven to be a tough task for Cushenberry, but early in his NFL career, you don’t hear too many people worried about his long-term prospects. The idea is that Cushenberry will learn from his mistakes and get better as he gets more time on the field.

Rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has been electric and has proven himself to be one of the best route runners in the NFL even as a rookie. With that said, he’s also had problems with dropping the football since week one, which unfortunately has been a significant hit to Lock’s overall numbers.

Not only has Jeudy struggled with drops, but the Broncos overall have been one of the worst teams in the NFL this season when it comes to dropped passes.

These are young players who are learning, making their way in the NFL together. It’s frustrating for fans who want the Broncos to win after some abysmal seasons in the post-Peyton Manning era, but these are expected growing pains and learning experiences.