Gamestop Stock – Trey Lance might be Broncos’ ticket off Drew Lock’s NFL roller-coaster
It’s not the arm. It was never the arm. It’s the roller-coaster. If GameStop stock were an NFL quarterback, it would be Drew Lock.
“Oh, I’d take Trey Lance in a minute and I’d cut Lock,” longtime NFL scout Dan Shonka laughed. “The thing with Lock is, he’s too inconsistent. He was that way at Missouri. He’s still that way.”
Look, Shonka has no dog in this fight. Dude calls it as it sees it. And he’s seen plenty. Before his stints as general manager with Ourlads.com and player personnel director with the East-West Shrine Bowl, he scouted for the Eagles, the Chiefs, the Washington Football Team and the USFL.
Shonka charted John Elway when Elway was young. In Philadelphia, he was on the Sean Payton train years before anybody else.
And he’ll tell you that there’s a couple of darn good reasons why Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spent Monday with Lance, the young but raw North Dakota State quarterback. Why Shurmur and new general manager George Paton have been stalking Ohio State signal-caller Justin Fields, just in case.
One, due diligence with the No. 9 pick in the draft. Two, if there’s an easy way off the roller-coaster, you’d be a fool not to find it.
“We were probably lower on (Lock) than a lot of people,” Shonka said of the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019. “He’s just wildly inconsistent.”
To Shonka’s point, Lock was inconsistent coming out of Mizzou, too. In No. 3’s last three seasons with the Tigers, the Kansas City native posted 10 games in which he completed 62% or more of his passes and another 11 in which he made good on 50% or fewer.
In Lock’s last 17 contests in Columbia, he hit the 62% bar seven times and was at 50% or fewer in five other games. Of those 17 appearances, nine were without an interception while four others featured two or more picks.
So, yeah, Dan saw this coming.
We all should’ve seen this coming.
“Whereas Lance, he’s very consistent,” Shonka continued. “He’s immensely smart, a very smart guy. Just a whole lot of good decisions. His ball placement, for a guy that doesn’t throw the ball a ton, that touch is pretty good.
“He’s really got a strong arm, probably one of the stronger arms in this draft. When I saw Elway for the first time on the sidelines, warming up, he looked like a Boeing 747, his ball had such a tight spiral. The arm strength was unbelievable. Trey isn’t that. But he does have a strong arm, if you want to send (Jerry) Jeudy on those ‘9’ (fly) routes and what have you.”
Strong and safe. In his last 17 college appearances, Lance produced 10 games in which he completed 62% or more of his throws, compared to just three in which he’d connected on 50% or fewer. Of those 17 appearances, 16 of them were without a single interception thrown.
In his last 17 college games, Fields reached the 62% bar 12 different times with the Buckeyes, compared to only one — the Big Ten championship game this past fall — at 50% or less. Zero-interception games: 12. Multiple-interception games: 3.
Mac Jones’ last 17 appearances? 17-for-17 at the 62% mark. In 12 of those contests, the former Alabama quarterback was interception free, with just one appearance — a wild, 48-45 loss at Auburn in the 2019 Iron Bowl — that saw him toss more than one pick in a game.
“That consistency, that’s the thing you’re trying to look for in quarterbacks in the NFL,” Shonka explained. “Nobody’s perfect, but the most consistent ones — in the NFL, you’ve got to have the accuracy and ball placement.
“The consistency from (Jones), from taking snaps under (center) to dropping back and getting the ball out (is better). Of course, he’s got a little tie with Jeudy, too, from their Alabama days.”
In 18 career NFL games, Lock’s posted a passer rating of 94.0 or better six times, contests in which the Broncos went 4-2. He’s finished with a passer rating of 64.0 or less in seven other tilts, games in which Denver posted a record of 1-6.
“People say, ‘Oh, gosh, he has those really good games.’ But what about the games he’s not good?” Shonka said of the Broncos’ current starting quarterback.
“It’s just the consistency. It isn’t even close between Lock and Mac Jones. And, hey, if Mac falls to me (at No. 9), it’s, ‘Hey, here ya go.’”
In a perfect world, you’d bring Lance along slowly. You’d pair a draft pick with a veteran caddy. A mentor. A Crash Davis type.
Lock is more Nuke LaLoosh. And Broncomaniacs are tired of watching a 5-cent head write checks that even a million-dollar arm can’t cash.