Denver Broncos: Drew Lock’s areas for improvement

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

1. Reading Coverage

It’s safe to say Drew Lock had quite a few interceptions last season, almost all of which were results of poor coverage reading.

Lock’s arm is obviously his biggest selling point, but when combined with his awareness, it also gets him into a lot of trouble.

Take a look at both interceptions shown by Mark Schofield in the Broncos’ 2020 game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders.

Looking at the first pickoff,  Lock appeared to have read the situation correctly but did not make the good enough throw for the competition. The throw also appeared to be in near triple coverage, and there could have been a safer option for Lock to lean towards.

For example, instead of trying to force it up the middle as the play is designed, Lock could have thrown it to Jeudy who was available on the outside route.

It’s understandable why Lock wanted to make that pass. His team was still looking for a spark late into the first quarter after going down 7-3 to the Raiders. He was also going towards one of his favorite targets in K.J. Hamler, who Broncos fans would see go off with Lock vs. the Panthers.

However, if it’s that early into the ball game, you don’t want to take those chances coming out of the gate.

The second interception is where things get a bit more tricky. Schofield points out that it’s second down with 12 seconds left in the half, meaning the Denver Broncos are looking to score going into the locker room.

The play designed by Pat Shurmur offered Drew Lock plenty of options to go towards. He had one out route, a post route to Jerry Jeudy, a seam, and two hitch routes towards his right side.

After the ball was snapped, Lock appeared to already have his mindset on threading the needle to Jeudy. However, his closed-minded approach caused him to miss the defender cutting down and closing the open space. Lock picked it off, and the Broncos came up empty-handed.

If you take a second look at the play, Lock had three of his other options open. Phillip Lindsay and his two receivers on the hitch were both open. A throw to any of those targets would have resulted in a score or at least some quick yardage.

In Lock’s case, it’s not always about trying to force the ball down the field for the big play. Sometimes you have to check down and play it safe in order to get the desired score.