Kiszla: Can Broncos trust Drew Lock enough to bypass quarterback in 2021 NFL draft?

Hey, we all want Drew Lock to be the next great Broncos quarterback. OK, John Elway or Peyton Manning might not be great. We are happy to settle for Jake Plummer. So it’s a shame Lock continues to play like the next Blake Bortles. Just good enough to beat you in a big NFL game.

“Trust me,” Lock said on Wednesday. “I want to be as great as the people who watch the game at home want me to be great. I want it more than they want it. “

But do you trust Lock?

Can Broncos hiring manager John Elway really afford to be patient and bet the team’s future on a quarterback who has shown that Denver could be put in a bad position by trusting him with the football or COVID-19 safety protocols ?

We all know that 2020 has been a wasted year. From a lack of preseason preparation to a devastating injury for receiver Courtland Sutton, it wasn’t easy being Lock. Not as difficult as being a nurse or teacher during a pandemic, but tough nonetheless.

So I asked Lock for his patience, especially when knuckles like me get restless while they wait for him to get this job.

“We live in a world where everyone wants everything very quickly. Everyone wants it now. And we get that with our phones. You want to click on an app, it will appear immediately. It’s the same in football. You want greatness really, really quickly, ”Lock replied.

Then, to emphasize his lofty ambition, Lock reiterated, “Believe me, as much as people want (greatness) from me, I’ve always wanted it more.”

Okay, Drew. But you are what you do, not what you say.

So while I believe Lock wants to be great, I’m not sure he knows what it takes. He stubbornly refuses to accept his limitations, most notably that he can’t throw football through the same tight windows as Elway. While not following strict COVID security protocols, which banned Lock from the New Orleans game, shouldn’t be a charge against his character, it did raise concerns about his lack of attention to detail.

Yes, Lock is only 24 years old and has only started 14 NFL games. Neither the offending coordinator Pat Shurmur, nor the exercise restrictions imposed by the virus have done Lock a favor.

Patience is required with a young quarterback. Patience is good. But Lock is the worst starting quarterback in the league. His quarterback rating (67.1) ranks below Carson Wentz (72.1) and Sam Darnold (67.2), who are often quoted as busts with their current teams.

Here’s what worries me more: By almost every measure – completion rate, frequency of interceptions, net yards per passing attempt, won-loss record – Lock has dropped back from his five starts as a rookie.

He looks more like the next Jake Locker than the next Jared Goff. Patience is earned by quarterbacks who learn from their mistakes. In a relentless competition, there is little patience for QBs who decline.

With the Broncos rolling to a finish outside of the playoffs for a fifth straight season, patience is not Elway’s ally. I’m not sure a veteran quarterback is the answer in Denver, even if 32-year-old Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions part ways.

The 2021 NFL draft is intriguing, however, as the depth of quarterback talent extends beyond Trevor Lawrence of Clemson and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who are expected to be taken off the board with the first and second selections in the opening round.

With a record of 4-8, the Broncos are currently at number 10 on the preliminary design board. Lost, and Elway was able to pick in the top five. Is Lock a better bet at quarterback than North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Brigham Young’s Zach Wilson, Florida Kyle Task, and Alabama’s Mac Jones?

Can Lock determine that he is the quarterback who will bring the Broncos back to glory in the last four regular season games? He thinks the attack could break out this weekend when Denver travels to Carolina.

“It’s going to happen,” insisted Lock. “And it happens slowly.”

Slow isn’t enough when patience runs out.