While it is not fair to say that Drew Lock has the memory of an elephant, it would be fair to say that he carries a flea on his shoulder. Considered a top caliber quarterback for the 2019 NFL draft, Lock fell completely from the first round.
His precipitate fall played directly in the hands of general manager John Elway and the Denver Broncos, who quickly wrapped up a trade to go back up and select Lock with overall choice # 42 in the second round. Lock had to go through such an agonizing night wait, like Aaron Rodgers in 2005, sitting in the green room while almost everyone around him heard his name called except him.
The following day, Lock decided not to submit to this agony any longer, choosing instead to wait in a hotel for the word of the league. The Broncos traded with the Cincinnati Bengals and took Lock, ending his fall.
This experience served as motivation for Lock and was the figurative meteor that took such a massive chip from his shoulder. With the 2019 project officially a year on the books, NFL media contacted Lock to do a video retrospective of his experience, and what we learned only added to the growing legend of the child.
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Lock not only kept the card project used to advertise it as the Broncos’ project choice, but also the card announcing the trade. Like he said, he would be lying if he said he didn’t think about his draft day dive every day.
If his rookie trajectory is an indication, this world-class chip absolutely had a galvanizing effect on the young signalman. Lock moved from the third guy on the Broncos QB depth chart behind Joe Flacco to # 2 relatively quickly.
Then the tragedy struck. Lock severely trampled his hand on the pitch to launch three preseason games and landed him on the injured reserve to open his rookie year.
After a 10-week exile in which he put the Broncos’ virtual reality training program to good use, mastering the manual and reviewing each of the team’s daily practices at least twice a day, he finally had a chance. As Flacco did not raise the team and landed on IR himself, the Broncos finally activated Lock directly from the training room at the starting job in Week 13.
A five-game whirlwind ensued in which Lock led the Broncos to a 4-1 final. His game captivated a fan base and won the faith and belief not only of his teammates, but also of his coaches and the front office.
Lock would finish with a TD / INT ratio of 7 to 3 while setting several NFL rookie team and record records along the way. It was impressive.
What struck me most, however, was how clearly Lock jumped between the thumb injury and his professional debut at week 13. He looked like a different quarterback.
Despite his relative inexperience, Lock played coolly and confidently while bringing an air of swagger and confidence to a Broncos offense that had been sorely lacking in both elements for years. This clearly marked the team’s brass, as the entire 2020 offseason was spent building the nest around Lock.
With two new wide receivers in the fold for Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, as well as former college teammate and fast TE 4.49 Albert Okwuegbunam, to say nothing of the Elway home center purchased in the form of Lloyd Cushenberry, it is safe to say that Lock will be loaded for the bear during this hunt.
His constant reminder of last year’s draft day dive, which he thinks about daily, will serve as additional fuel to drive him to success before the second year. While his 4-1 start does not guarantee a successful career, at this point, nothing Lock has shown me would deter me from believing that this child is the real story.
Or as the kids say, I believe Drew Lock is the truth.