2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Drew Lock
Ht: 6'4" Wt: 225
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Evaluated by: Austin Smith
Drew Lock caught my eye in 2016 when his combination of size and arm strength jumped out in his first year as the full-time starter. Still, it was this past season where he really took off as a junior. Lock threw for 44 touchdowns (led the nation) and nearly 4,000 yards while setting career-bests in just about every major category. Lock also seemed to be hitting his stride as the year ended. Missouri started the year off losing five of six games, but ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, including conference victories against Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas. The expectation for scouts is that Lock picks up where he left off as a junior, with the exception of his mediocre performance in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl against the Texas Longhorns. During that six-game win streak, Lock's completion percentage was 63 percent, with 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Maintaining numbers like that for a full season will certainly put him in the conversation to be the top quarterback taken in 2019.
Lock's best trait is easily his arm strength. He can launch the ball with ease, despite throwing from a slightly-awkward arm angle. Lock also shows touch on his deep balls in order to let his receivers run under them, and displays light feet when he is asked to drop back. The intermediate throws are where he appears the most accurate, although Lock's completion percentages don't yet show it. Receivers' drops have been little help, and overall it does appear that Lock will be an accurate passer once he gets with NFL receivers. There are times when Lock shows savvy ball placement, most often on deep and intermediate routes. He displays above-average athleticism escaping the pocket and on designed runs, but it won't make him a viable threat to take off in the NFL. Still, Lock's arm strength combined with that athleticism should make him a solid thrower on the move.
The biggest negative to Lock's game starts with the fact that any positive traits outside of his arm and athleticism come in small sample sizes. The system that he plays in at Missouri is a far cry from the playbook he'll be asked to learn once he enters the NFL. Right now, Lock plays exclusively in the shotgun, and two of the most common throws he makes are tunnel screens and RPOs where his pass option is a quick screen to an outside receiver. These throws, while simple, also worry me about how undisciplined his feet currently are. He is a good athlete but on these quick throws, Lock's feet are rarely set, and that can lead to bad habits that are hard to kick. Disciplined footwork is essential to make throws from a solid platform, allowing proper weight transfer through the motion. Without it, accuracy suffers and maneuvering in the pocket can become an issue, as well. Lock very rarely is asked to read the full field or go through multiple progressions. As I mentioned, Lock's accuracy, ball-placement and touch on deep and intermediate passes seem to be a plus, but with a limited sample size, that could be misleading. Lock also has a slender frame, and will need to bulk up if he is going to survive in the NFL.
Lock will be a third-year Captain at Missouri with a history of Missouri Tiger football in his blood. His composure on and off the field are that of someone who was raised to not only play the game, but also handle the spotlight. Lock's temperament on the football field is exemplary and consistent, despite the fact that the Tigers have been on both sides of blowouts, and he should be able to run an NFL huddle without concerns. His teammates talk fondly of Lock, and his steady progression throughout his playing career is evidence that Lock works hard at this craft. There are also no red flags to his name regarding his health, attitude, or personal life.
Lock could have come out as a junior, and I have mixed feelings about him staying. I almost always side with players (especially quarterbacks) that choose to stay in school, but I'm not sure what he has left to prove. Unless Missouri makes some serious changes to their offensive playbook, the same questions we currently have about Lock are going to persist. One could make a case that this year's group of quarterbacks is much less talented than the one that saw five players drafted in the first round in 2018, including four in the top ten. Still, I would hope that any player expected to be a top pick would make that decision based on his own talent and confidence. Lock will enter his senior season as one of the top quarterbacks on scouts' radar; it's always a plus to have the opportunity to compete in the Senior Bowl to boost your draft status. Lock's name may even move into the Heisman conversation, and all factors combined lead me to think it will take something catastrophic for him to get out of the first-round picks in 2019.
I've heard people mention him in the same light as Patrick Mahomes, and considering the arm-strength and amount of patience any team is going to have to with him once he is drafted, I won't disagree with that. Blaine Gabbert is another obvious candidate, and while many would consider that as inaccurate based on Lock's potential and Gabbert's lack of success in the NFL, it is important to remember Gabbert was a very high pick with similar traits and potential coming out of the Missouri. Still, I'm going to take it a step further, and go with Phillip Rivers. Both have the size and arm strength that teams covet, while also throwing from an unorthodox arm angle that somehow doesn't limit them in any way. Also, while Rivers may have a more sturdy build now, he entered the league at a much more slender 229, similar to Lock.
- Terrific arm strength
- Measures 6'4"
- Displays advanced traits such as ball placement, touch, and accuracy
- Above-average athlete
- Gotten better in every year at Missouri
- Shows leadership qualities
- Ideal temperament for the position
- Offensive scheme at Missouri does not ask for complex level of reads
- Amount of "NFL Throws" he makes are few and far between which make it difficult to judge some of his numbers like completion percentage
- Makes throws without setting feet far more often than scouts will like
- Seems to be comfortable throwing from the lower-arm slot but can occasionally develop a hitch in his motion
|Scouting Video Courtesy of GM6ix Productions|
1)   Lock named to Unitas Award watchlist   - The Missourian |
2)   Amid Heisman hype, Mizzou's Drew Lock clings to chip on shoulder   - Kansas City Star |
3)   What we learned about Drew Lock and the Missouri Tigers during SEC Media Week
- KSDK.com |