The Denver Broncos are one of several teams likely in the mix to select a quarterback in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft after Case Keenum failed to impress in his first season as the team’s starter.
Keenum signed a two-year, $36 million deal last offseason and it’s a safe bet that 2019 will be his final year in Denver. As a result, the Broncos, who pick 10th overall, may have little choice but to spend one of their first two selections on a passer.
Enter Missouri’s Drew Lock.
Broncos GM John Elway is reportedly head over heels for the strong-armed yet highly inconsistent prospect. He live-scouted Lock during the season and spent all three days of the Senior Bowl — at which Lock participated — watching the quarterbacks, according to the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla.
Kiszla called Elway’s infatuation with Lock the “worst kept secret” in Mobile.
Lock threw for 3,498 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2018.
Can Elway evaluate quarterbacks?
Despite being a Hall of Fame passer, Elway’s ability to scout quarterbacks hasn’t proven mistake-proof. He was responsible for the Paxton Lynch disaster in 2016 and the free-agent investment in Keenum feels like another miss.
Rarely will a general manager get three swings at the quarterback position, but Elway’s deity status in Denver will certainly make him the exception to the rule.
The issue facing Elway and the Broncos, however, is whether Lock will even be on the board at pick No. 10. His stock is on the rise after a strong week of practices at the Senior Bowl and he’s been mocked as high as No. 7 to the Jaguars.
The 2019 quarterback class doesn’t have a clear leader of the pack, so there’s a great opportunity for Lock to continue his climb up the first round with a good showing at the NFL combine and his pro day.
If he carries this momentum through draft season, Elway may be forced to trade up to get his guy.