Preseason Player Analysis
What You Need to Know:
- Lock started the final 5 games of his 2019 rookie season, averaging 204 yards, 1.4 TDs and .6 INTs per game on a 64.1% completion rate and 6.5 yards per attempt.
- One of those games was a big 309-yard, 3-TD effort vs. the Texans. Lock didn’t top 208 yards or 6.3 yards per attempt in any of the other 4.
- Over those 5 weeks, Lock ranked 27th among 32 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus passing grades.
- Lock started and played 12 full games last year. In those, he averaged 243 yards, 1.3 TDs and 1.2 INTs per game on a 57.8% completion rate and 6.7 yards per attempt.
- His fantasy-scoring average in those games ranked 25th among QBs. He scored at a QB1 level in 3 of those 12 outings.
- Lock ranked 28th in PFF passing grade among 32 qualifiers last year -- although his grade did improve from 2019 to 2020.
- Lock sprained his right thumb as a rookie and missed 2 games last year with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. He also suffered a rib injury last year and missed another game after landing on the COVID list as a close contact.
- Denver traded a 6th-round pick for QB Teddy Bridgewater in April. They’re reportedly interested in QB Aaron Rodgers (duh), but they passed on QBs in this year’s draft. They notably had a shot at Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones at pick #9.
- Barring a trade for Rodgers, Lock and Bridgewater will battle for the starting job this summer. HC Vic Fangio said those 2 will split reps “50/50” in training camp.
- Bridgewater has been more efficient than Lock through this point in their careers, with a 66.5% completion rate and 7.3 yards per attempt vs. Lock’s 59.1% and 6.6.
- Bridgewater beat Lock in PFF passing grade each of the past 2 years.
- Lock is still capable of taking a step forward. He’s just 24 with 17 NFL games under his belt. He worked with Peyton Manning this offseason to put together an extensive workout plan that included multiple throwing sessions, film sessions and footwork refinement.
- If Lock wins the starting job, he’ll be working with a strong group of pass-catchers in Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant and K.J. Hamler.
- Lock has also averaged 13.6 rushing yards in his 17 full games. That’s a full-season pace of 218 yards that would have ranked 15th among QBs last year.
- OC Pat Shurmur returns for his 2nd season with the Broncos in 2021.
- The 2020 Broncos ranked 19th in pass attempts and 20th in pass rate.
- Shurmur has tended to be a pass-leaning play caller, with 9 of his previous 11 NFL offenses finishing top 16 in pass attempts.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Lock has not been good through 2 NFL seasons -- in real life or fantasy football.
The only move Denver made at QB this offseason, though, was adding Teddy Bridgewater. That tells us they’re still holding out hope for Lock but wanted a viable backup plan in case he doesn’t take a step forward in 2021.
Lock and Bridgewater will duke it out for the starting job this summer. If Lock wins it, he’ll carry some fantasy intrigue thanks to Denver’s strong group of pass-catchers and some rushing ability.