Comps – Low/Medium/High
Chad Kelly (Low) – Ryan Tannehill (Medium) – Derek Carr (High)
We’ve gotta get this out of the way first before I go discussing Drew Lock and what his odds are as a pro football player. He is not Josh Allen. He is very different from Josh Allen as a prospect. If somebody tells you he is Josh Allen, politely asks them to leave the room so you can continue to listen to people who watch his film. But let’s stop talking about apples and oranges and just focus on apples. Lock is a different animal in 2018 than in past seasons. His arm strength and athleticism has stayed the same, but his growth on the mental side of things has been spectacular. The Missouri quarterback has grown tremendously in regards to his ability to go through progressions and make NFL caliber decisions. His anticipation is still lacking at times, as he doesn’t let the ball out until he sees his receivers breaking. He no longer stares down his first read or forces passes unnecessarily, so he has shucked my “Mason Rudolph’s better cousin” label. If his processing speed gets better as a pro there is reason to believe he’ll meet the NFL threshold for decision-making. He already plays safe enough with the ball to avoid risky situations. For example, he has a great understanding of leverage for receivers, and he does a great job isolating one-on-one chances. Lock can mix up trajectories over the top and deliver some beautiful touch passes, but he doesn’t seem too comfortable with the mechanics involved in altering ball angles. Overall, he still relies too much on his arm rather than his whole body. The throwing motion isn’t flawed, but he often delays it with minute details like patting the ball. Lock isn’t a natural scrambler, but he has the wheels to get going and pick up yardage when creases form. Lock needs to improve his pocket control and become more comfortable in the space, but he is beginning to show the ability to manipulate it with small steps to open lanes to pass through. He’ll get dragged down by hard contact, but can slip away from an arm here or there. He’s no man of steel, but there is enough poise and stature when he stands behind his line to be trusted on an NFL field.
Reads & Decisions
Did not operate a complex offense at Missouri until 2018, but took a leap forward under new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley. Can work one-two reads when pressure doesn’t show up, but needs to speed up processing. Has mental lapses where he hesitates that must be snuffed out as a pro. Tendency to stare down target still lingers from 2017, but has improved somewhat. Understands how to avoid dangerous air space, but won’t deceive defensive backs to open things up. Anticipation is an area of concern; needs to see it to believe it in regards to the route break. Won’t force risky passes unless the game situation demands it. Knows when to throw it away. Does not back down from throws with pressure in his face. Too robotic with his eyes to sell defenders on lookoffs. Clearly still growing.
Accuracy & Ball Placement
Accuracy is inconsistent, but flashes. Will throw a dart on a high difficulty throw then follow it up with a grounder on a gimme throw. Placement deteroriates significantly when throwing on the run. Couldn’t trust his receivers to hold a child with how frequently they drop passes; incompletion percentage is unfairly low. Accuracy seems to improve the further downfield he’s working; throws a premium deep ball. Leads his target well vertically. Capable of altering trajectories to place throws over the top of coverage. Passes to the sideline are often too low. Has shown the ability to make tough window throws downfield. Understanding of leveraging allows him to capitalize on one-on-one throws with precision. Hits some back shoulders on the outside ball.
Pocket Awareness & Scrambling
Makes subtle shifts within the pocket to create throwing lanes. Well put together with height and thickness for the position that will pass team benchmarks. Enough mobility to exit the pocket, although he rarely does so without design. Needs to prioritize ball security as he transitions to the pros. Peripheral vision and timing to climb pocket is not there. Not necessarily a statue, but doesn’t frequently go forwards into the foxhole. Not a functionally strong player in the pocket; will be taken down when the floodwalls burst open. Quick enough to take off for rushing yardage when openings appear up the middle. Doesn’t have corner turning speed but has experience running outside. Runs hard and fights for the marker whenever he has a chance.
Mechanics & Throwing Motion
Cannot alter arm path to avoid the hands of pass-rushers; susceptible to batted passes. Throwing motion is rather low, and balls can come out with a flatline trajectory as a result. Base sets too wide, forcing his arm to overexert on throws rather than using bottom-up power approach. Feet are bouncy and ready to plant for throw at any time; does not get glued to the ground when surveying field. Makes sure to angle his feet properly towards the target when he has time to adjust them. Patting prior to throw will occasionally delay the start of motion. Creates enough torque when working with unstable platform to make up for it. Dumpoffs don’t stay true to mechanics; gets lazy with motion and won’t set feet. Mechanics got wild against Georgia; concerns vs. pressure?
Has the zip on his passes needed to hit 30 yard window shots; can fit the ball into tight spaces with no problem. Throws with necessary velocity even when rolling out or working from a move platform. More than adequate RPMs on the ball. Throws can cut through wind without issue. Relies too much on upper body to get throws going rather than working upwards from his base; needs to incorporate full body mechanics to maximize gifts. Has an upper-middle class arm, but not anything generational. Doesn’t seem to rev up arm like he did in junior season. Fastball is one of the best in college ball.