NFL Draft Notebook: The Bengals can Rock with Drew Lock
We recently looked at the falling stock of Dwayne Haskins and where he might land in the NFL Draft. Of course this is “lying season” in the days leading up to the event, where it seems like a lot of headlines get generated, and many of them are smoke screens intended to cover up the true intentions of NFL front offices. If Haskins’ appeal has waned, it could mean that Drew Lock could possibly be the second QB picked in the NFL Draft. Watching Lock on film, he may throw the best deep thrower in this year’s class. When Lock is on his game, he throws a tightly wound pill into small windows downfield. The ball absolutely explodes out of his hand and ends up right where the receiver can catch it in stride and continue to gain yardage after the catch.
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The Book On Drew Lock
Drew Lock has drawn comparisons ranging from Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler to Patrick Mahomes. He is viewed as a gunslinger that may be able to boost a passing game into a consistent aerial attack. He is more mobile than Haskins and even though NFL.com has Haskins graded higher entering the NFL Draft, Lock could have more upside. NFL.com has Haskins graded at 6.20, and sees him as an immediate pro starter. Lock is graded at 5.8, which indicates he is viewed as less of an option to start coming out of college.
The knocks on Drew Lock are his inconsistent accuracy and touch on his passes, and he has not always played his best against top competition. While he can certainly make some dazzling plays downfield, it is questionable whether he will be able to put consistent drives together at the pro level early in his career. Can Lock make the high percentage throws in key situations, especially under pressure? He may have to learn to develop the ability to regularly succeed in such scenarios.
Lock is very confident, though, and the better NFL QBs will have the steely mental approach to overcome their weaknesses quickly. Some may believe that Lock could be best suited for a situation where he learns from a veteran QB, but he might to push to start right away. That could lead to a lot of ups and downs, as gunslingers like him will make some big plays, but also some frustrating turnovers.
There have been some Lock comparisons to Mahomes, which intrigues some a lot about his upside. There were also questions about whether Mahomes was simply going to be too reckless to start effectively early in his career, because he would also turn the ball over a lot. Of course, as we have already seen, such talk has been completely quieted.
But while Lock is more mobile than Haskins, he is certainly no Mahomes when it comes to escaping pressure and buying time. But he can buy some time in the pocket to make a big play. Whatever team lands Lock will certainly see their receivers make some highlight reel plays. But his ability to consistently move the team down the field will be questioned.
Mock with Drew Lock
In the latest NFL.com mock drafts, after Kyler Murray is unanimously pinpointed as the No. 1 pick, only one four primary panelists has a QB being taken in the next five slots, with the Giants at six. Yet they still pass on Drew Lock according to the panel. While Lock does fit the Giants embodiment of a pocket passer, and it would be a big bonus to learn under Eli Manning and have some proven quality skill position players around him, it may be better for Lock to get picked by a team that has better talents to mesh with his skill set. Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are good NFL wideouts, but not explosive artists.
Charles Davis believes Lock will be picked by the Broncos at No. 10. Personnel wise, Denver would be an ideal fit with its promising crew of young wide receivers. It has already been reported that John Elway has developed a strong affinity for Lock. Joe Flacco, however, believes he can still start this season and the Broncos do not need to draft a QB early. Selecting Flacco with their first choice in the NFL Draft could lead to some internal strife.
The Bengals could be the best team for Drew Lock to end up with. They have an established superstar WR in A.J. Green, a rising star in Tyler Boyd, and a deep threat (John Ross) that could really shine more with Lock as his QB. Its no secret that the new Cincinnati regime may look to move on from Andy Dalton, and Lock would be an exciting signature player for the future.
Yes, I really want the Bengals to take a QB in the first round. Dalton is just good enough to lose with, and Lock’s dynasty appeal would be greater in the short term with a very good receiving crew and the support of a solid ground attack.
Washington and Miami are not the best landing spots for Lock to start right away, as he will lack a lot of complementary talent and impact playmakers. Of course, if he sits behind Case Keenum or Ryan Fitzpatrick while either team chooses to not to rush him into adverse situations, that could be a good path to development. Certainly, Lock could get some starting reps later in the year when either team is pushed out of the playoff hunt.
If Lock is still available when the Giants are up with their second first rounder at No. 17, they can certainly reconsider him again. If they pass, Lock could tumble into the 20s, and it could be exciting to see him land with the Raiders. Picturing Lock tossing downfield to Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams is very enticing. But there have been reports the Raiders have been more enamored with Haskins. From fantasy perspectives, Oakland would be a fun destination, but they would also have to improve their ground game to better support Lock.
Two NFL.com panelists have Drew Lock entering the league as successors to superstars. If he ends up in Green Bay or New England, both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have to retire sometime, but the end is certainly not imminent. Going to either the Packers or Patriots in the first round of the NFL Draft could destroy Lock’s initial dynasty value.
Scott Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame and a four-time award winner. He was one of the driving content forces in the rise of RotoExperts.com and was the lead host on the RotoExperts in the Morning for six years on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was also instrumental in the launch of the FNTSY Sports Network. Scott was the first-ever Senior Writer and Managing Editor at CBS SportsLine and won a company Hall of Fame Award. He was also an Associate Editor and Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He has been the featured Fantasy Writer on Seahawks.com since 2012 and his work has been syndicated to the Associated Press, NFL.com, New York Daily News, New York Post, Yahoo Sports, Bloomberg Sports, Sports Illustrated and many others. He is a credentialed media member who won an FSWA award in 2016 for his Insider Fantasy Reporting. Known as “The King”, Scott is on Twitter @scottTheKing
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