Vic Fangio on Starting Drew Lock: “All Options on the Table”

The Denver Broncos’ coaching staff has seemingly flip-flopped on their opinion of starting Drew Lock at quarterback ahead of the Broncos vs. Chargers division rivalry in Week 12. This change of heart comes on the heels of Brandon Allen’s dismal Week 11 start against the Bills. He threw the ball 25 times for 84 total yards, conjured up three points, ended the game with five straight three-and-out possessions, and threw a bad interception in the red zone.

A week ago, Vic Fangio said that it wasn’t “vitally important” to get Drew Lock into a live game to make his NFL debut, especially considering the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 draft has spent the last 10 weeks on IR and only has 10 practice under his belt outside of preseason. Now, after the Bills game, Vic Fangio has backtracked, stating that “all options [are] on the table” when considering the starting quarterback competition.

Drew Lock played his college ball at Missouri where he threw for over 12,000 yards, 99 touchdowns, and 39 interceptions and posted a career rating of 138.8. The Broncos had the 10th overall selection in the 2019 draft and many folks believed they would select Lock with that pick. The Broncos surprised many by not selecting Lock, also passing on Devin Bush, and trading back with the Steelers to select Noah Fant at 20th overall. The extra picks the team received from trading back allowed them to pick starting left guard Dalton Risner and Drew Lock with back-to-back picks, Nos. 41 and 42.

In the preseason, Drew Lock played in three of the four games before injuring himself against the 49ers. The video below is every pass or run play that Lock had throughout those three games. He showed his ability to make easy throws and pull the ball down and make plays with his legs. He has a strong arm that enables him to make tight window throws and some touch on the deep ball.

I’ve been of the school of thought that since the Denver Broncos currently sit at 3-8 with an early pick in the 2020 draft, getting Drew Lock on the field to play some games is incredibly important. This would allow the team to evaluate his talent and see if it’s worth considering taking someone like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm or Tua Tagovoila in the upcoming draft. The 2020 quarterback class has been much anticipated, especially for the Broncos, who have had a revolving door at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after Super Bowl 50.

But what we know for now is that Brandon Allen has not played well enough to keep Drew Lock shelved and now the coaching staff and management has to consider putting Drew Lock in the game. The cons of this move are that if he’s truly a project quarterback, and they love what they are seeing in practice and in his development, but he’s still raw and not ready, they could hurt his confidence and stunt his growth with a bad showing.

Patrick Mahomes is the perfect comparison, as he sat his first season behind Alex Smith only to play Week 16 against Denver on the road once the playoff seeding was set. He took a few meaningless games to learn, develop, and refine his craft without any pressure. Once he got his opportunity, he ran with it and won MVP in his first starting season. Had he been thrust into the starting role too early, it could have prevented his eventual breakout.

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