Drew Lock: 3 things the young Broncos QB must stop doing

Denver Broncos QB #3 Drew Lock Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos QB #3 Drew Lock Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Drew Lock
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Broncos QB Drew Lock must stop these three things ASAP.

The immediate sting of the Denver Broncos losing yet another game must quickly be replaced by another thousand-foot view of the team.

With so many big decisions facing the team sooner rather than later — including what the future holds for quarterback Drew Lock — it’s critical to remember that even in losses, the team must be evaluated fully and fairly.

What are the Broncos going to do about Drew Lock, specifically?

It seems clear at this point that, since Vic Fangio and his staff have been brought on board, the Broncos’ defense is better. The roster is much better all-around than it was in 2017-2019. Even with injuries and COVID-19 as a hurdle for teams, the Broncos have been competitive all season.

Even looking at the Broncos’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, it’s clear that this Denver team is better than they are often given credit for, and with the team’s youth, it’s not unreasonable to want to see if this squad can mostly come back for 2021, hopefully stay healthy, and see if these young players can make necessary improvements.

The 2020 season has been mostly about discovering whether Drew Lock could be the Broncos’ franchise quarterback or not. So far, his play has raised plenty of questions, many of which didn’t exist after his first five games in 2019.

Lock has tremendous talent. He’s poised. Aside from the NFL making an example out of him and the Broncos’ QB room for pulling their masks down while watching film on an off day at team headquarters, Lock has proven he’s a capable team leader as well.

There are many good things Lock has going for him and there are both traits and flashes on the field of things you would want to buy into as an NFL franchise.

With that said, there is also plenty that Lock needs to work on and clean up. There are negatives to Lock’s game that, if he doesn’t stop doing them soon, he is going to find himself getting pushed in the form of much better competition than Jeff Driskel in 2021.

In fact, that may already be a foregone conclusion.

Even still, here are three things that, based on the first eight full games he’s played in 2020, Lock must stop doing.

1. Drew Lock must stop throwing up “hero” balls

If it weren’t for Drew Lock’s “hero” throws, he would probably have about half the interceptions he currently does (13) this season or even less.

What is a “hero” ball?

When Lock is trying to avoid getting hit or taking a sack, his natural instinct is to throw the ball down the field and hope for the best. He has shown the capacity to live to play another down before, but he really does seem to struggle with the thought that taking a sack is not preferable to throwing the ball and seeing what happens.

There are times when that is true, but it’s bitten Lock enough times in 2020 that it’s become a legitimate reason he will need to be pushed, if not replaced in 2021.

Lock’s desire to always make a play is admirable, but this might be the best explanation of his current issues with turning the football over I have seen to date.

Lock threw 99 touchdown passes in his four seasons at Missouri. That ranks third all-time in SEC history. When you think about some of the players that have gone through the SEC, that statistic is all the more impressive. When you think about the skill players Lock had to work with, it’s even more remarkable.

But the issue here is that you don’t get away with nearly as much in the NFL as you would at Missouri. NFL players are too fast and too smart.

Lock needs to cut down on turnovers, and playing within the offense as well as playing within the flow of the game (throw it away, don’t be afraid to take a sack every now and again) is something he can improve upon immediately.