Broncos GM Doesn't Commit to Drew Lock as Starting QB: 'I Don't Know About Week 1'

Blake SchusterContributor IApril 22, 2021

DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 3:  Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, #3, goes out for a pass during the  first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High as the Broncos take on the Las Vegas Raiders in their final game of the year on January 3, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Broncos lost to the Las Vegas Raiders 32-31. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos still believe in quarterback Drew Lock. Just not enough to officially name him Week 1 starter. 

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Denver general manager George Paton said he's looking to create a QB competition in training camp either via the draft or free agency. 

"As you know, he has a lot of talent," Paton said of Lock. "I think he's becoming a better pro, but we're still going to look at the quarterback position. I've said since I got here, we want to bring in competition; that's the goal, and we plan on doing that."

That includes trading up in the draft if the right player is there. Paton confirmed the team would look to move up from the No. 9 overall selection, but it might take a seismic draft day shift for the "right guy" to be there. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to pick Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, followed by Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance—though the exact order is to be determined. 

Should any of those players fall, it's easy to imagine a number of teams like the Broncos, Chicago Bears and New England Patriots would try to move up. If Denver chooses to look at free agents, they'll likely be picking between Josh McCown, Blake Bortles and Nick Mullens among the remaining passers on the market

Either way, Lock is going to have to earn his reps this season. 

The No. 42 overall pick out of Missouri in 2019 started 13 games last season, passing for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for a 75.4 passer rating. Paton just wants to make sure he has someone else in camp who can push him.

"We do like Drew Lock," Paton said. "What we don't want to do is force it and bring a guy in, overpay a guy to come in and maybe he's not as good as the guy we have, you know, maybe he's not good enough to compete. We want to get the right guy, and we still have time."