2019 NFL Draft: Drew Lock deserved better than this
When the 2019 NFL Draft resumes in Nashville on Friday evening, it probably won’t take long for Missouri QB Drew Lock to hear his name called. The strong-armed quarterback is one of the best players left on the board and was projected by nearly everyone as a first-round pick (and by some as a top 10 pick).
However, he had to sit there with friends, family and coach Barry Odom as 32 other players heard their names called and go to live out their dreams, going up on stage in front of 150,000 rain-soaked fans to shake commissioner Roger Goodell’s hand.
He watched as Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray went No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals. He was then perhaps as surprised as fans across the country when the New York Giants took Duke’s Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. Perhaps he breathed a sigh of relief when the Washington Redskins took Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 pick, thinking there would be plenty of chances for him to walk across the stage and put on an NFL hat.
Lock had been connected to a number of teams, including the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. When the Broncos traded down from No. 10 to No. 20, it seemed as if they might be positioning themselves to snag the former Tiger.
Instead, they went with TE Noah Fant out of Iowa — a position of need, for sure, but one that wasn’t as pressing as their need at quarterback. No worries, Lock probably thought then. The Raiders had the No. 24 and No. 27 overall picks.
Oakland coach Jon Gruden worked with Lock a lot at the Senior Bowl in Birmingham, and had nothing but nice things to say about the Mizzou gunslinger.
The Raiders picked Alabama RB Josh Jacobs at No. 24 and Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram at No. 27.
That’s probably when Lock started getting a little nervous, thinking that maybe this wasn’t his night after all. The next team that could have used him was the Los Angeles Chargers, picking at No. 28.
Yes, they have star QB Philip Rivers, but he’s 37 and can’t play forever. Surely, they’d at least consider drafting Lock and letting him sit for a year or two to learn the ropes. After all, it worked out pretty well for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs).
Instead, they went with Notre Dame DL Jerry Tillery, despite already having one of the best defensive lines in all of football with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
That left the New England Patriots as the last hope for Lock in the first round. Yes, the Tom Brady-led reigning Super Bowl champs.
Like Los Angeles, that would have been an interesting stop for Lock, as Brady is even older than Rivers (he’ll be 42 before the 2019 season kicks off).
Instead, the Pats decided to give Brady another weapon, picking Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry to close out the first round.
That was it. That pick left Lock and his family still waiting to find out where he’d be playing next fall.
The slide is reminiscent of Rodgers’, when he was in the mix to go No. 1 overall but fell all the way to the Packers with the No. 24 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. However, Rodgers still got to hear his name called on the first day of the draft, unlike Lock.
Lock — the guy who is No. 2 on the SEC’s all-time career passing yards list and No. 3 on the conference’s career passing touchdowns list — now has to wait until Friday to hear his name called. Where will he go? That’s anyone’s guess.
The Raiders are back on the clock with the third pick in Round 2, and could certainly take Lock. Would he see that as a slap in the face, though, after they made him wait while they chose three other players in front of him on Thursday?
The Broncos have the ninth pick in Round 2. They could justify taking Lock with that pick to develop behind Flacco. Would the Cincinnati Bengals (10th pick) or Packers (12th pick) be tempted to take Lock in those spots?
Anything can happen at the draft (as we saw early and often Thursday), so we’ll see where Lock goes. One thing is for sure, though — whoever picks him will be getting a guy eager to prove that he should have been taken well before Duke’s Daniel Jones (and even Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins) went off the board.