The Kansas City Chiefs will welcome in the Denver Broncos this week. Recently, Denver has some new found excitement, leading to late season wins. Rookie quarterback Drew Lock is the shiny new toy that has really got the Broncos fans excited. He is already 2-0 as the starter. Now this week, he will have a homecoming and will try to spoil his hometown team.
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Lock played high school football roughly 20 minutes southeast of Arrowhead Stadium. He put up dazzling numbers at Lee’s Summit High School. His last two seasons there were integral in getting him noticed by college recruiters. As a junior, he passed for over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. Lock and Lee’s Summit High School reached the Missouri 6A quarterfinals that season.
Furthermore, his senior season was just as impressive. Lock’s numbers were down a little from the year before. But, 2,731 passing yards and 28 touchdowns were good enough results for Drew Lock to earn Kansas City’s All-Metro Player of the Year. He was rated as a four star recruit as his high school career came to a close. Eventually, he committed to play at the University of Missouri.
It did not take long for Drew Lock to make an impact with the Missouri Tigers. As a freshman, he came off the bench in the season opener to complete six of ten passes and threw for a touchdown. The Tigers then announced that Lock would remain the starter for the rest of 2015. This marked the first time in 20 years that a freshman was starting at quarterback for Missouri. His season best number for passing yards, came against BYU. This game took place at the same place where he will play this Sunday, at Arrowhead Stadium.
The numbers and stats was what Drew Lock seemed to be known for in his collegiate career. His big arm and mobility allowed for outstanding results on big time plays. To boot, Lock finished his career at Mizzou while throwing for over 12,000 yards, 99 touchdowns to 39 interceptions. Lastly, his 44 touchdowns as a junior was a school record, as well as, a then SEC conference record. That was a topsy turvy junior season for Lock and his team. After a troubling 1-5 start, Missouri won six straight to reach a bowl game.
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Is He The One?
Peyton Manning brought joy and a Super Bowl championship to the Rocky Mountains. However, the Broncos have struck out more than once in trying to replace Manning. Yet again, Denver found themselves in need of drafting a quarterback this past spring. They made Drew Lock their selection in the second round. Lock was celebrated, but the quarterback picture was already very muddy.
Having already acquired Joe Flacco earlier in the offseason, Lock was going to have to fight to get playing time. Unfortunately for him, he injured his thumb in the preseason and Lock began his rookie season on the injured reserve list. While he was out, Flacco got hurt and wound up on injured reserve himself. That led to a couple of games from Brandon Allen. Allen was not the spark that the Broncos needed. With nothing to lose at 3-8, Denver finally turned to Drew Lock.
It is still very early, but it looks like John Elway may have finally drafted a competent signal caller. We mentioned he is 2-0 so far. Additionally, he has completed 72 percent of his passes for 443 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating currently sits at 111.4.
Reid mentioned “he is doing a nice job.” The way Lock has commanded the offense has stuck out to Reid and others. Eventually Reid said, “he’s got quite a package. It’s not just all of the easy stuff- that’s not what it is. He’s making some tough throws and really playing good football right now.”
Spagnuolo simply stated, “I’m thoroughly impressed by what he’s done early on here. There are some impressive throws in the two games.”
Fighting The Feelings
Drew Lock is trying hard to not make his return to Kansas City a big deal. “I think we’ll all make a little too much of that,” he mentioned on Wednesday. “It’s just another football game. I’ve got to prep like I did in the first two weeks.”
Ultimately, he admits playing a game in front of family and friends can be a distraction. “You can turn the phone off. But the people that know you, that you trust- your family, close friends- they know not to blow you up about coming home. They know you have something going on.”
Having played in Arrowhead Stadium before, Drew Lock is definitely excited. He says he visited the stadium “too many times to count” growing up. Meanwhile, this is a heated AFC West rivalry. This will be the first of many times where Lock will face the team that he was a “pretty passionate” fan of growing up.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.