Did he wait too long? Absolutely, but Drew Lock couldn't have asked for a better landing spot
I had one of the quickest cold takes ever, and it centered on Drew Lock. But I promise, I had a reason.
You see, the Broncos had their second-round pick on Friday night and I said to myself, “Ok. They have to take him here, right?”
The Broncos didn’t take Lock with the 10th pick of the draft on Thursday night, despite the fact that John Elway reportedly told the former Mizzou star at the Senior Bowl that he wouldn’t fall out of the top 10. Not only did the Broncos pass on Lock, but they actually traded the pick to the Steelers and moved back to No. 20 in the first round.
Fast forward to Friday night when again, the Broncos were on the clock with Lock still on the board. So of course Elway would pull the trigger on Lock with him available 31 picks after his original “floor,” right?
Instead, the Broncos went with offensive tackle Dalton Risner and the Lock waiting game continued. As a result, I threw out this tweet:
So, um, starting to get the impression that John Elway wasn't as love with Drew Lock as he said at the Senior Bowl.
— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) April 26, 2019
Yeah … about that.
That tweet aged like a new car being driven off the lot. Damaged goods. It had zero value 5 minutes later.
Why? Well because the Broncos then traded up to get the very next pick, and just like that, Lock was a Bronco after all.
In my defense, my tweet had to be what Lock was feeling. If he did feel strongly about meetings with the Broncos, you can bet he was at a loss when the team passed on him for the second time in as many days. Lock had to be wondering in that brief instance if there was something he said or did that was resulting in his draft fall.
But after those minutes of uncertainty, reality probably sunk in for Lock. That is, Denver was the perfect spot for him all along.
Cold Takes Exposed can retweet that one, too.
Of all the places that Lock could’ve ended up — Cincinnati, Washington and Miami were all possibilities — none made more sense than Denver. It isn’t just because of the Elway thing, but it helps knowing he’ll be desperate to finally get a quarterback decision right. We already saw signs of that.
While people like myself were wondering why the Broncos passed on Lock in the first 2 picks, they were grabbing a couple of pieces to build around their new quarterback.
Tight end Noah Fant is a freakish red zone machine who will remind Lock of his old Mizzou teammate Albert Okwuegbunam. Fant will join a group of pass-catchers that got a major overhaul in the last year with 2018 draft picks Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.
Risner, the Broncos’ other second round pick is an experienced, immediate starter depending on where Denver needs him. It won’t be at right tackle, where the Broncos made free agent Ja’Waun James the highest-paid player at the position.
Speaking of free agents, the move Elway made a couple months ago might’ve been the most crucial decision in setting up Lock’s future. Trading for Joe Flacco means that Lock won’t be expected to start from the jump. That’s key. And Flacco is just good enough that it won’t be a battle in camp. Good.
The idea of Lock and Flacco following the Pat Mahomes/Alex Smith plan would be ideal. It’d be ideal for Lock and it’d be ideal for the Broncos.
Really, this couldn’t have worked out better with the Broncos. Lock was the guy who everyone said “needed to have the right surroundings” in order to succeed at the next level, and all Denver did before drafting him was improve his surroundings. In a weird way, the odds of Lock succeeding in the NFL are actually better with him falling to No. 42 than if he had been picked No. 10.
Now in terms of what Lock experienced after not hearing his name called on Thursday while being in Nashville for the draft, well, that probably wasn’t the way he hoped to start his career. Lock admitted it was a “wild last 24 hours,” but that he wanted to go to the situation that was going to benefit him for the next 10 years.
After his disappointing Thursday night, he stayed in Nashville with family and friends, waiting to hear his name called. When that moment finally came, he was surrounded by cheers in a conference room of his Nashville hotel. Lock had a look of joy and relief on his face as he let out a fist pump and talked to his new team on the phone.
The wait is finally over for Drew Lock. Love the emotion! pic.twitter.com/7K3EoyNkuK
— Andrew Kauffman (@AndrewABC17) April 27, 2019
He then hopped on a bus with 40 family members so that he could walk across the NFL Draft stage, where he got to have his moment in the spotlight with commissioner Roger Goodell. Lock then did an on-camera interview with Maria Taylor and Jesse Palmer on the ABC broadcast, where he explained the whirlwind he experienced.
“It was meant to happen,” Lock said. “We had our eyes on Denver a little bit before the whole process started. I couldn’t be more happy to be a Bronco.”
Lock said after his long Thursday night, “there’s not a situation you can throw me in that I won’t be ready.” He’s right. Not many top quarterback prospects have careers with a conference passing touchdown record and a pair of 0-4 starts to SEC play.
Lock said after his euphoric Friday night, “we’ve been through more adversity than going in the second round to the Denver Broncos. I’m pretty blessed to have that happen to me today.”
Yep. Lock is blessed to be a Bronco, alright.