John Elway was very clear that he wants Lock to come in

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Guidelines StubHub ✕NFL DraftDenver Broncos 2019 DraftElway: Drew Lock here to
learn and compete as a backup, not be the starterNew,79commentsJohn Elway was
very clear that he wants Lock to come in and learn from Joe Flacco, and not have
the pressure of starting right away. Elway: Drew Lock here to learn and compete
as a backup, not be the starterThe last time Denver drafted a quarterback, they
tried this same approach. Everyone knew Paxton Lynch needed time and seasoning
before he even had a chance to be a competent starter, as he was as raw as they
come out of the draft.However, the issue then was Denver was fresh out of Plan
As at quarterback and were starting a seventh-round pick, Trevor Siemian, in the
meantime. We all know that the pick of Paxton Lynch didn’t pan out, but Denver’s
plan to sit Paxton Lynch and have him learn and develop didn’t work out either.
When asked about it in hindsight last year, Elway admitted that they would have
handled things differently with Lynch if they could do it over.That’s likely why
after Denver let their third offensive coordinator in three years go at the end
of the season, Elway’s goal for this offseason wasn’t necessarily to dive
straight into finding a quarterback just yet, but first developing an
environment where a quarterback can thrive. That’s one reason Rich Scangarello
is here - with a very clear vision for the offense and what it needs to be. Once
that is established, Scangarello has talked about flexibility within that and
adapting what you’re doing to fit your players, but you have to first establish
what you’re doing.Elway reiterated this philosophy a few days ago leading up to
the draft at his pre-draft news conference:All of this is laying the groundwork
so that when you do bring a quarterback you think can be “the guy,” he has a
system and structure around him that enables him to be successful. We saw this
with #1 overall pick Jared Goff. Many wanted to write him off as a bust under
Jeff Fisher and whatever they were doing on offense, but bring in an offensive
coach who has a plan and a scheme that helps your young quarterback, and you
have one of the top offenses in the NFL.Or take the example of our friends in
Kansas City. Andy Reid had an offensive system in place, a veteran quarterback
who knew how to run it, and talented skill position players that operated well
within it. All that being already established allowed them to be patient with
their draft pick Tramaine Brock
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, Patrick Mahomes, and we have painfully seen how that has
turned out.So what does all this have to do with Drew Lock?I would argue this
has more to do with Elway and his continual learning and evolving his philosophy
on the quarterback position. This is about ensuring that this time is different
than the last time Denver drafted a quarterback, and Elway is taking very clear
steps to make sure it is different. The first steps were set in motion this
offseason when Elway brought in an offensive coordinator with experience in a
proven offensive system, and then by locking in a veteran quarterback who could
manage it.The next step is establishing from Day 1 that Lock is not here to
compete for a starting role. In his comments after the second day of the draft
wrapped up, Elway repeatedly said his goal for Lock is to come in and learn -
both from Joe Flacco and coach Scangarello.This is a wise approach for not only
where Denver is at right now, but specifically for a guy like Drew Lock, who,
while talented, is extremely raw and needs time and work before attempting to
become an NFL starter. This is the consensus from every analyst and evaluator
that has watched Lock play. Many are split on what his true ceiling could be,
but no one disagrees that he, out of perhaps all the other prospects, needs time
and development. Those same things were said about Paxton Lynch as well, yet
circumstances had him attempting to compete for a starting role in an offense he
hadn’t learned, and learning a brand new one next year. I’m not here to make
excuses for Lynch, or say that he could have become something more than what he
is currently. I’m merely pointing out that in hindsight and a perfect world,
Denver’s approach may have looked more like what it is attempting today.Slowly
bringing along a second-round pick, while an established veteran is the clear
starter, is an environment much more conducive to learning, than expecting a
top-10 pick who isn’t near being ready to beat out a 10+ year NFL quarterback.In
addition to watching Flacco and learning from him, Elway specifically mentioned
Lock getting to work with Scangarello on the points of his game that need the
most refinement.All of these comments by Elway send a very clear message not
only to Lock, but also to the team Jeff Heuerman
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, and to the fans. Lock may very well be the future, or at
least that’s the hope, but he has plenty to work on before that day comes. Until
then, the Broncos will continue with the plan they established before Lock was a
Bronco, one that now includes Noah Fant, Dalton Risner, and a host of other
young players from last year learning a new offense along with their quarterback
Joe Flacco.Let’s remember this the first time Flacco struggles, and a twinge
inside of us wants to call for Drew Lock to take his place. I can’t tell you for
sure if this plan will work or not. But I can tell you that I feel more
confident in both Denver’s approach to and longterm outlook on the quarterback
position than I have in a long time. Under the leadership of John Elway, the
Denver Broncos have struggled when it comes to finding talent in the NFL Draft.
However, the past two drafts indicate that Elway and his staff have evolved and
finally found a winning formula to acquire collegiate talent."After years of
questionable drafts littered with more misses than hits, John Elway seems to
have finally found a winning formula with respect to the NFL Draft.In his tenure
as general manager, Elway has relied on strong free agent classes to bolster the
team’s ability to compete. His success in that regard has been remarkable, but
his draft day endeavors and subsequent results have been tenuous at best. Though
over the last two drafts, the Broncos’ draft strategy has evolved and most
importantly, changed for the better.A major emphasis has been placed on drafting
players who are leaders on and off the field. High character prospects that
possess remarkable football intelligence and the desire to be the best. As I’ve
wrote numerous times, it’s often the mental approach to the game that separates
the good from the great. In order to successfully navigate the enormous rigors
of the National Football League successfully, you need to be diligent and have
incredible mental toughness. Nothing can be taken for granted. Every challenge
should be seen as an opportunity to become the best player you can be. You have
to put your best foot forward every single day, whether it is on the practice
field or in the film room. Every selection over the past two drafts have been
players who embody the aforementioned principles. Players who would run through
a brick wall to get to their hopeful destination without hesitation. Players who
aspire for dominance. Players who want to be Denver Broncos. I could wax poetic
about this topic forever, but let’s now turn the page and focus on Elway’s
masterful maneuvers in this year’s draft.Instead of standing pat at ten overall,
Elway navigated the first-round draft landscape beautifully by trading down and
selecting dynamic tight end Noah Fant. The selection of Fant provides the
Broncos with a player who will contribute immediately and provide the offense
with something it has been missing for years — a formidable threat at the
position. Broncos Country should have little doubt that he will be a
game-changer for years to come.It wasn’t just the selection itself that is
praise-worthy, but the fact Elway was able to secure significant draft capital
by adding a second-round and 2020 third-round pick in the process. In one smooth
phone call Ja’Wuan James
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, the Broncos maximized their ability to address other key
needs on the roster, while adding a premium pick to target future needs. Without
that trade down, what transpired on the draft’s second day could have never come
to fruition.With Mike Munchak in the fold and the departure of Matt Paradis in
free agency, it was obvious the Broncos were going to be on the pursuit for an
offensive lineman early. At the 41st pick, the franchise snagged Kansas State
tackle Dalton Risner. The Colorado kid from Wiggins is coming home and will be a
plug-and-play starter as a rookie at right guard.Just when you thought the
Broncos would have to wait a bit longer to make their third pick of the draft,
Elway shocked the world by trading a fourth and sixth round selection to obtain
the quarterback he had coveted throughout the entire draft process, Missouri’s
Drew Lock. While Lock has certainly needs mechanical refinement and development
with respect to processing defenses and pressure, he has all the tools you can’t
teach and most importantly, a great mentor in Joe Flacco. He is a perfect fit
for what the Broncos want to accomplish and has the talent to be the franchise’s
quarterback of the future.To round out their day two haul, the Broncos were
fortunate to obtain Ohio State defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones. Jones has the
ability to play outside and kick inside in sub-packages and took a huge step
forward in his last year with the Buckeyes. Considering Shelby Harris, Adam
Gotsis and Derek Wolfe are in contract years, it was a smart move to make
immediately and for the long-term.On the third day of the draft, the Broncos
added depth at edge rusher and wide receiver by selecting Oregon standout Justin
Hollins and Colorado’s Juwann Winfree. Hollins played under Jim Leavitt with the
Ducks, who coached alongside Vic Fangio in San Francisco. Winfree shares the
same agent as Phillip Lindsay and appears to have a lot of untapped potential.
Last but not least, Denver was able to sign two high-profile undrafted free
agents in Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien and Nevada edge defender Malik
Reed. Truth be told, it will take several more years to know exactly how the
past two drafts will actually panned out. However, it truly looks as if Elway
and the Broncos’ draft fortunes are changing with a new strategy in place. With
a revamped offense and improve defense, as well as holding a treasure trove of
picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, the current and future state of the Broncos is
strong.It’s time to put the rest of the league on notice — the Broncos are
officially back and ready to compete now and from now on.
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