Drew Lock, the former Missouri quarterback who was slated to be a first-round pick in last week’s NFL draft, is headed to the Denver Broncos.
But first, he waited around. Then, he waited around. In fact, Thursday’s first round came and went without his name bring called. He spent the night in Nashville with no idea where he would be playing.
Friday night came and Lock, again, waited around. After passing on him twice, the Broncos moved up to select him in the second round. It was hardly a glowing recommendation, but Lock has a shot to be a star or a bust. We should all be so talented and lucky.
With the Broncos acquiring former Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco earlier this season, GM John Elway told ESPN, “Drew will come in and compete for the backup job.”
Then, Elway’s critique got a bit harsh.
“With what we're going to do offensively, he's going to have a lot of work to do. I think technique is always a big thing. We talk about accuracy and accuracy a lot of times comes down to technique and throwing on rhythm. We believe he has a ton of talent, but we also believe he has a lot left to work on,” said Elway, who added that part of Lock’s problem was he operated from Mizzou’s spread offense.
Lock said being a backup will be “an adjustment,” but he looks forward to working with Flacco.
“(I’ll be) getting in the film room with him, getting around him really talking the game of football. Because you don't win a Super Bowl by not knowing football, that just doesn't happen, he knows what he's doing, he's a great quarterback. To be able to learn from a guy like that, work on the things I need to work on, who wouldn't like that?”
NFL scouting authority Chris Landry called Lock, “fool’s gold,” in a podcast with KMOX broadcaster Mike Claiborne.
One pre-draft website listed Lock and Seattle Seahawks second-round draftee receiver D.K. Metcalf, “the two riskiest picks in the draft.”
Of course, locally, the spin is that Lock will team with Elway to become the next Tom Brady – and that he will be starter this season.
101 ESPN’s Anthony Stalter said Monday that Lock will be the most successful of the three quarterbacks selected before him; Kyler Murray, the top pick in the draft by the Arizona Cardinals, Daniel Jones, the surprise No. 6 selection of the New York Giants and Dwayne Haskins, who went at No. 15 to the Washington Redskins.
I mean no insult to the other hosts there, but I think Stalter is the best. But I also think he’s wearing his homerism on his sleeve.
Good luck to Lock. He’s going to need it.
Black elephant in the room
One of the most frustrating parts of being a black sportswriter, broadcaster or fan is when your initial response to something seems clear to you, but is ignored by the masses.
The Giants began hinting that they would take former Duke QB Daniel Jones at No. 6 and let former Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, who many scouts and GMs said was the best QB in the draft, slip down the board.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman said Jones was his man and he wasn’t going to let a team jump ahead of him in the draft to select him. He said Monday “I know two teams that would have picked him ahead of us.”
The only two teams that had a need a quarterback and would have considered taking Jones were the Redskins and Broncos. Both teams made it clear they had no interest in him.
Gettleman has spent the last week defending his selection. He could have landed a top-notch defensive player and drafted Jones later in the first round.
The Giants staff knows a lot more than I do about drafting players and finding a future quarterback. But I have a hunch the Giants would not have selected Murray if he had been available, just as they didn’t take Haskins.
Two seasons ago, Eli Manning was playing terrible. It was obvious his best days were behind him. Soon-to-be-fired head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese decided it was time to give backup journeyman Geno Smith, who is black, a shot at starting. Then, rookie Davis Webb would get some playing time.
Giants fans went nuts. Many of the scathing attacks on Smith, who would never be mistaken for a great quarterback, were racial. Some fans were simply protective of Manning, but many weren’t ready for a black quarterback at the helm, and they made it clear.
The fact remains that, regardless of other black quarterbacks’ success, many white NFL fans just can’t get with it. With all his accomplishments, if the Dallas Cowboys traded quarterback Dak Prescott tomorrow, a large portion of the fan base would be relieved.
Former Redskins GM Charley Casserly was more than ready to pass on an anonymous GM’s charges that Murray was not strong at the intellectual pursuit of playing quarterback and that he lacked work ethic. These concerns were negated at every turn, but Casserly shared them on the NFL Network. It was disrespectful, but hey, it played right into the hands of some backward fans.
I’m not calling Casserly a racist. He stood by Super Bowl champion Doug Williams when he was GM and Williams became the team’s starter.
I am saying Casserly knew what he was repeating could have been racially inspired and he didn’t care.
I think the Giants wanted to pick Manning’s future replacement in this draft. Skin color played a role in that selection.
Meanwhile in Washington
The Giants passed on Haskins and, as fate would have it, he ended up in the NFC East. The teams will play twice every season and Haskins is aware he’ll have multiple chances to prove to the Giants that a mistake was made.
“I’m just looking forward to being able to compete against those guys for the rest of my career,” he said following his selection.
Former Redskins All-Pro defensive back Shawn Springs, a Haskins mentor since his days of playing in high school in nearby Potomac, Maryland, warned the Giants that they will pay a price.
“He’s going to be a beast when he plays the Giants,” Springs told the Washington Post.
Haskins told the Post, “I clicked well with all the teams I visited.”
“I felt like the team that liked me the most was the Redskins. I could just tell by the vibe I got from all the teams. They loved me a little bit more. It all made sense.”
By the way, the aforementioned Doug Williams serves as Redskins senior vice president of player personnel and would certainly love to see a black quarterback lead his team back to a Super Bowl.
The Reid Roundup
I guess it’s a good thing Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna was not chased out of town. He led the Cardinals with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs after Monday night’s win in Washington … The same is true for right fielder Dexter Fowler. Entering Monday’s game, Fowler was hitting .316 with an on-base percentage of .419 and an OPS of .850. He also ranked tenth among all National League position players in Win Against Replacement (WAR) … Hall of Famer and former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann wants to talk to Dwayne Haskins about wearing his popular and retired No. 7 … Speaking of jerseys, I am now proud owner of a No. 12 Roger Staubach jersey. A gentleman and fellow Cowboys fan named Art, who is now in heaven, bequeathed it to me … The Kansas City Chiefs are going to cut the very troubled Tyreek Hill at some point soon ... The whining about officiating, especially in the Golden State vs. Houston series, is getting very tired … NBA Playoff ratings are down 18 percent after two weekends of games – LeBron James is the missing ingredient.
Alvin A. Reid was honored as the 2017 “Best Sports Columnist – Weeklies” in the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and is a New York Times contributor. He is a panelist on the Nine Network program, Donnybrook, a weekly contributor to “The Charlie Tuna Show” on KFNS and appears monthly on “The Dave Glover Show” on 97.1 Talk.” His Twitter handle is #aareid1