Denver Broncos: Three key people going into the 2021 season
By Brett Chaves
1. Drew Lock
It’s fair to say that Drew Lock has seen the sun rise and set in Denver.
His rookie season showed promise of long-term potential. He finished with a final record of 4-1 with big wins over the Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans, and the previously-named Oakland Raiders.
However, his 2020 campaign showed a complete opposite result. In the 13 games he played, Lock finished with a 4-9 record along with a 16-15 touchdown to interception ratio. Lock also finished with just under 3,000 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 48.8.
While Lock did lose the majority of his offense throughout the season due to injury, the second-year prospect could not hold his own against the rising competition in the AFC. His footwork still seemed quite raw and his football IQ did not seem up to speed.
After facing all of the adversity in 2020, Lock’s time to shine will come in 2021.
To begin things, this will be Lock’s first full round of OTA’s as the starting quarterback. His 2020 OTA’s were robbed of him due to the pandemic, and his rookie OTA’s were taken as a third-string quarterback. Now with the opportunity to learn the playbook and build chemistry with his players, Lock should be going into the 2021 season much more prepared than last season.
The Denver quarterback has also been working with former quarterback and now Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning. An image was leaked on Twitter of Lock’s pre-snap stance compared to Manning’s when he played. The two images looked identical, with Lock beginning to take on Manning’s style of tempo. Lock’s footwork also looked much better than last season, but there is still room to improve with his drop step.
Adding on, Lock will be under an immense amount of pressure to retain his starting job in 2021. General manager George Paton went out and acquired quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2021.
Both Lock and Bridgewater struggled in the 2020 season with their respective squads. After falling short of their expectations, the two quarterbacks are in the, “prove it now” stage of their careers. If they cannot show they are ready to lead a franchise to a championship, their starting careers may be over.
With this being said, Lock and Bridgewater will have to duke it out for the starting job this upcoming season. This means taking advantage of every rep in practice and during training camp.
Ultimately, it should be Lock on top. This is his job to lose and he needs to show the front office he is the man they wanted in the draft. This QB battle should also help keep the pressure on him to be a great leader on the field, as well as off of the field.