Lock recently met with a few teammates for a throwing session, Troy Renck of Denver 7 News reports. Lock had been riding the pandemic out with family in Missouri before recently returning to Denver. Renck did not report which members of Denver's receiving corps participated in the session, but any increased familiarity with his targets will be good for Lock heading into Year 2. The sophomore passer had some impressive moments during his 4-1 run as a starter and it's fair to wonder if he could have performed even better had he not missed a chunk of the preseason and two-third of the regular season with a thumb injury. The Broncos are installing a new offensive scheme and will have a lot of new faces on offense, so every little bit should help with organized team activities presently limited to online meetings.
The Broncos invested three of their five picks during the first three rounds of the draft on offense, building around Lock for his sophomore campaign, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports. Lock went from second-round pick to injured reserve to surprise 4-1 starter all within the course of a few months. He flashed some big-time ability, particularly in Week 14 against Houston, despite having little in the way of established weapons opposite Courtland Sutton. That changed in a big way Thursday and Friday when the Broncos selected wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first and second rounds, respectively, and followed up with the selection of Lloyd Cushenberry in the third round. Cushenberry figures to be a Day 1 starter at center, while Jeudy's smooth route running and Hamler's sub-4.3-40 speed could earn them starting roles as WR2 and WR3. Add in the investments the front office made in power back Melvin Gordon and guard Graham Glasgow in free agency, it all means that if Lock fails to establish himself as the franchise cornerstone in Year 2, it won't be for lack of support.
Lock appears to have little competition for the starting job after the signing of journeyman Jeff Driskel as the presumptive QB2, Benjamin Allbright of KOA News Radio reports. Lock was mostly solid, but showed flashes of real promise down the stretch during his 4-1 tenure as the Broncos' starting quarterback. That didn't prevent some from calling for Denver to bring in a veteran to push Lock in 2020. That hasn't happened, however, and while Driskel has the athleticism to complement Lock's style, his 1-7 career record as a starter -- albeit on some bad teams -- is unlikely to trigger a camp battle. It is possible that the Broncos look for a developmental quarterback in the late rounds of the draft, but everything is trending toward a full-season audition for Lock in 2020.
General manager John Elway acknowledged that Lock is "the guy" in Denver, Troy Renck of Denver 7 News reports. Lock's 64.1 percent completion rate as a rookie was actually better than what he posted in any of his four seasons at Missouri. That's not to say concerns about accuracy or pocket presence can now be totally dismissed, but the 2019 second-round pick at least played well enough to earn the starting job for Week 1 of 2020. Elway was asked about the possibility of signing Tom Brady, and while the GM said he'd be willing to talk with the future Hall of Famer, he also made sure to mention that the Broncos are happy with Lock, per Mike Klis of 9News Denver. There hasn't been any other suggestion that Denver is one of the destinations Brady would consider.
Lock will have a new offensive coordinator in 2020 after the Broncos officially appointed former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur to the position Tuesday. Shurmur's scheme averaged 4.5 plays of 20 or more yards per game over two seasons in New York, good for sixth in the league, per Patrick Smyth, Denver's Executive Vice President of Public and Community Relations. Despite having the aging Eli Manning under center in 2018 and then rookie Daniel Jones at quarterback for New York in 2019, Shurmur has developed a reputation as a play caller capable of making defenses uncomfortable downfield. That style seems to suit Lock's big arm and gunslinger mentality. Additionally, given his two unsuccessful stints as an NFL head coach, Shurmur seems unlikely to jump ship for another organization any time soon, giving the Broncos some stability around their young signal-caller.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|4||10/02||@New York Jets||17||19.13|
|5||10/11||@New England Patriots||1||11.06|
|7||10/25||Kansas City Chiefs||14||17.89|
|10||11/15||@Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|11||11/22||Los Angeles Chargers||8||15.63|
|12||11/29||New Orleans Saints||20||20.18|
|13||12/07||@Kansas City Chiefs||14||17.89|
|16||12/27||@Los Angeles Chargers||8||15.63|
|17||01/03||Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|3 Year Avg||64.1||1020||7||3||72||0||81|