Denver Broncos rookie quarterback, Drew Lock, struggled in his first NFL action. Did his troubles carry over into his second outing? Let’s find out!
Lock’s accuracy was much better in this game. He hit all of the layups and made some difficult throws like this one up above. See how he throws his receiver open by anticipating the route break. This is a big-time throw on a third and nine conversation.
Overall, Lock just looked more comfortable than he did in the Hall of Fame Game. If he saw what he wanted to see, he let it rip. His arm talent was much more evident
The eye manipulation that he demonstrated was also encouraging. Watch (in the play above) how Lock keeps his eyes in the middle of the field to hold off the safety from getting to his half of the field.
Lock knows where he wants to go with the ball the entire time, but he had to keep the throwing window open by looking off the coverage. This is a great example of processing a defense. Lock identified the coverage and created a soft spot with his eyes.
In addition to that play, he manipulated coverage in the two-point conversion that was shown earlier. The throw itself deserves the majority of the praise. However, notice what Lock does before he releases the ball.
He knows it’s zone and that the defenders are reading his eyes. So, he looks at his running back in the flat and pump fakes, which moves the coverage away from his intended target. This type of nuance is reading defenses at the highest level.
Lastly, Lock demonstrated good assimilation of the levels of defense on this 29-yard completion to Austin Fort. The defense is in cover three, meaning the flats or the seams are the soft spots of the coverage.
The placement of the intermediate defenders determines where he should go with the ball. Lock recognizes that the linebacker on his left, let a receiver get behind him up the seam. That is an indication that there will be a void in the higher level of the defense. Lock attacked it accordingly for a big gain.
Seattle’s blitzes gave Lock a lot of trouble. He was not seeing where the pressure was coming from or the voids in the field that the blitzes were leaving.
Whenever the Seahawks forced him to speed up his process, Lock was noticeably uncomfortable. This discomfort caused him to get stuck on progressions, settle for check downs too often, and tunneled his field vision.
This almost interception, in particular, is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Seattle was only bringing four rushers but attempted to collapse the pocket to give the allusion of more pressure. As soon as Lock felt any bit of it (feeling ghost), he made a throw off his back foot and misread the curl-flat defender.
Not to mention, that he stared down the route the entire time, which allowed the defender to telegraph the pass. This should’ve been a pick-six but fortunately for Lock, the defender dropped it.
Although Lock’s pre-snap plans against the blitz most likely will improve with more experience. He can never react like this when he feels phantom pressure.
In conclusion, I came away encouraged by Drew Lock’s second preseason performance. His ball placement was much more precise, he was more confident as a passer, and he illustrated progress with reading coverage.
In addition, I am not going to crucify him for how he mishandled Seattle’s blitzes. This was really the first time he faced blitzes that were this exotic, so no one should be surprised that he struggled.
I still believe Drew Lock has some ways to go before I would trust him as a starter. But he is definitely taking some steps in the right direction.
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