Drew Lock Can Return as Broncos Starter If He Shows Improvement, Says Fangio

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 5, 2021

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan.. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)
Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

Drew Lock has been the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback for 18 games over the past two seasons, but he's not guaranteed to hold that job in 2021, per head coach Vic Fangio.

Andrew Mason @MaseDenver

Vic Fangio: Drew Lock "can be" the starting QB next year. "He's going to have to improve."

The Broncos took Lock with the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. The former Missouri star completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns and an NFL-high 15 interceptions this season. Denver went 4-9 with Lock under center.

The Broncos are in a position to grab a first-round talent at quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft.

They currently own the No. 9 overall selection in a draft that could have at least four first-round signal-callers in Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, BYU's Zach Wilson, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance, all of whom are in the top 18 of Pro Football Focus' latest overall rankings.

Florida's Kyle Trask and Alabama's Mac Jones could conceivably land in Round 1 as well.

Denver can also opt to bring in competition in free agency. Options include the New Orleans Saints' Jameis Winston and the New England Patriots' Cam Newton.

The Broncos can also just stick with Lock and see if he improves upon his second year. In fairness to Lock, he's barely played more than a full season's worth of games.

His first year was hampered by a preseason thumb injury that kept him sidelined for over two months. His second year featured an altered offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic and learning a new system under first-year Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

We'll find out in a few months what the Broncos opt to do with free agency looming in two months and the draft beginning April 29.