NFL Draft Talk Volume XXI
As the NFL draft draws closer and closer here are some questions that are circulating that pertain to prospects and their draft stock as well as their potential and projected impacts at the next level. Will Missouri’s Drew Lock leapfrog Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins for No.2 QB in this year’s draft? The debate over who is the best quarterback prospect in this year’s draft between Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins ended when the Heisman winning Sooners' passer officially measured in at 5”10&1/8” at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. Now a new discussion is brewing about who is the second-best quarterback prospect in this year’s crop between Haskins and Drew Lock of the Missouri Tigers’. Lock just had his pro day the day after Haskins had his and he is continuing to garner more and more buzz following an impressive outing earlier today in front of a packed house of NFL scouts and executives. He has been building momentum throughout the pre-draft process that started with a strong showing in Reese’s Senior Bowl game as well as the week of practices that proceeded it. He followed that up with another impressive outing at the Combine where he both tested well and wowed those in attendance in the on-field drill. At his Pro Day, he looked even better despite not having a plethora of quality targets to throw to at the event like Haskins and Murray had theirs. He showcased his rocket arm and improved touch on the ball during his throwing session. Lock’s most appealing qualities are his arm strength that allows him to stretch the field vertically and throw his receivers open by giving them time separate by put some arc on the ball without losing any velocity, an ability to extend plays and make off platform throws that remind some evaluators of Aaron Rodgers and 2018 league MVP Pat Mahomes. He also possesses underrated athleticism and was even recruited by Division I basketball programs coming out of high school by Ohio State, Minnesota and his soon to be alma mater Missouri. Where he has the edge over both Murray and Haskins is experience, his 38 career starts in college are 10 more than the two one year starters combined. The three-year starter is also being highly regarded because he excelled and put up huge numbers in the toughest conference in all of college football in the SEC. He enjoyed his best season in 2017 when he set a program and SEC record for passing touchdowns with a nation-leading 44, and he finished his collegiate career as the conference’s second all-time leader in passing yards with 12,193 and third all-time in passing touchdowns with 89. Assuming Murray goes No.1 overall either to the Arizona Cardinals or whoever wants to trade up, the next quarterback-needy team slated to pick would be the New York Giants who hold the No.6 overall pick. While it was reported that a large contingent of the Giants front office and coaching staff treated Haskins to dinner the night before his Pro day, they won’t have to turn in their official pick for their first-round selection until they are officially on the clock on April.25 and who knows, they could surprise some people with their actual choice.
Lock is a seasoned college quarterback whose experience, production, intangibles and unheralded athleticism could be enough for a team to trade up to take him prior to the Giants pick. The enormous chip that he says he carries on his shoulder should make him a fierce competitor at the next level as the face of a franchise and a leader of men.