Revolving coaching door led to lack of some basic development
Needs to improve decision-making
Trusts his arm too much
Will throw into coverage that he shouldn't
Summary: In all the storied programs and historic quarterbacks in the history of the SEC, including recent year stars like Cam Newton, Tim Tebow and Matthew Stafford, Lock did something no SEC quarterback had ever done when he threw 44 touchdowns in the 2017 season. He went on a tear in the last half of the year to lead Missouri to six straight wins after a 1-5 start. Lock completed 58 percent of his passes in 2017 for 3,964 yards with 44 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Lock saw time as an underclassman as well. In 2016, Lock completed 55 percent of his passes for 3,399 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. As a freshman, he saw the field after barely playing in the first month. That season he completed 49 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards with four touchdowns and eight interceptions.
After his prolific junior year, Lock probably would have been a late first- or early second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Lock would have been graded behind the four quarterbacks who went as the top-10 picks and would have been closer to Lamar Jackson. Instead, Lock returned to Missouti for his senior year. He completed 61 percent of his passes in 2018 for 3,498 yards with 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The senior notched six rushing touchdowns as well. Lock's decision to return for his senior year looks like a wise one as he will probably go much higher in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Lock is a gunslinger-style quarterback who has a big arm with the ability to throw any pass. His powerful arm allows him to fire the ball into tight windows for completions as the velocity of his throws is capable of beating coverage. He throws the ball well downfield and shows timing and anticipation. Along with his arm, Lock is a better athlete than one would expect. Scouts say that comes across the more one watches him, and his athleticism is a surprising plus for the big-armed quarterback. Lock also has above-average accuracy and showed improvement as a senior. He can throw receivers open and doesn't miss open receivers. His field vision is advanced, too, as he moves his eyes to work through progressions and does not lock onto his primary target.
There are a number of things that Lock needs to improve upon for the NFL. He suffers from what I call "big-arm syndrome," meaning he can have some flaws in decision-making because he trusts his arm too much. That led to him throwing some passes he shouldn't into coverage. Lock also could use some tutoring and mentoring because he was not coached up at Missouri. The Tigers had a revolving door at offensive coordinator, and sources say there are some basic things that Lock needs to pick up. However, they say he is smart and picked things up fast at the Senior Bowl. Sources say that of all the potential first-round quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft, Lock has received the least amount of coaching and development.
Team sources say that on top of liking Lock's skill set and intelligence, they like his swagger and the confidence he brings to the field. They say that there is a lot to work with and feel that Lock has a lot of upside for the NFL. He's a big kid with a firehose for an arm and is smart, confident and athletic. Sources say Lock is also a good basketball player, which illustrates his athletic ability. Lock is a very talented player, and as a result, he looks like a safe bet to be a top-20 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Jay Cutler. Team sources have said that Lock has the skill set of Cutler with the personality of Eli Manning. As a player, Lock is very similar to Cutler. Both are gunslinger quarterbacks with a cannon for a right arm. They also have a swagger to them in their style of play. Cutler and Lock also shared some decision-making flaws from the big-arm syndrome, leading them to trusting their arm too much and throwing into coverage. Cutler was a top-20 pick, and Lock should also go as the top-20 selection this year.
NFL Matches: New York Giants, Jacksonville, Denver, Cincinnati, Miami, Washington, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles Chargers, New England
Obviously, free agency will have a big impact on the quarterback market because some teams will acquire veterans and won't consider taking a signal-caller with a first-round pick. The first quarterback-needy team selecting in Round 1 is the New York Giants. They have an aging and declining Eli Manning, but passed on a potential franchise quarterback last year. They can't continue doing that. Lock could be their quarterback of the future.
The Jaguars could move on from the inept Blake Bortles and get a new franchise quarterback this offseason. With the seventh-overall pick, they could take a trigger man if they don't add a veteran starter in free agency.
Denver needs a quarterback of the future due to Case Keenum just being a stop-gap veteran. Lock' powerful arm and pocket passing could intrigue John Elway. Broncos expert reporter and Denver radio host Cecil Lammey has reported that Denver really likes Lock, so he is a player to keep an eye on for the Broncos with the 10th-overall pick.
Cincinnati could decide to move on from Andy Dalton with its new head coach. Ditto for Miami with Ryan Tannehill. Thus, Lock could go in the early teens to the Bengals or the Dolphins.
The Redskins could consider taking a quarterback in the first round because Alex Smith may miss the 2019 season due to his leg injury. Even if he comes back, he is aging and limited, so Washington could select a quarterback on the opening night of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Steelers, Chargers and Patriots are all teams that could consider a quarterback as their aging signal-callers have a limited number of years left.