On Wednesday, Pete Carroll and John Schneider met with the media, spending much of the press conference discussing Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and the veteran duo’s departure from the Seattle Seahawks. When the discussion turned to the Wilson trade, the pair discussed their hopes for the newly acquired Drew Lock in 2022, specifically citing a five-game sample from Lock’s 2019 rookie campaign in which the Broncos went 4-1.
So with that in mind, a quick review of this sample five games seems in order. For those who would like a film review of Lock’s 2019 on-field performance, Ted Nguyen of The Athletic did it in July 2020. That said, for those who want the quick and the dirty on the on-field performance of Lock in 2019, here are his stats from his rookie year:
- 64.1% completion, 7 TD, 3 INT, 89.7 passer rating, 50.2 QBR and 6.17 net yards per attempt
Completion percentage and TD to interception ratio are good, while QBR and NY/A are just around league average. The significance of QBR and NY/A being the league average is that both of these metrics are highly correlated with winning, especially multiple analyzes have shown that NY/A is the most predictive statistic when it comes to predicting outcomes. That said, several new metrics have been developed over the past few seasons that are highly predictive of wins and losses, but NY/A continues to be very strongly positively correlated with winning in the NFL.
That said, of course, in order to fully assess the numbers Lock released in 2019, it obviously makes sense to assess the defenses he faced that year. So, to that end, in the five games he started to close out his rookie season, his opponents were:
It’s not a horrible competition list, as these four teams combined to go 37-42-1 in 2019, and sure enough, the Chiefs and Texans made the playoffs. However, looking beyond competitive records and focusing on the defensive strength of the opponents he faced over that four-game streak, here’s where each of those teams’ defense finished in the standings. DVOA this season:
- Chargers: 26th by DVOA
- Texans: 23rd by DVOA
- Chefs: 24th by DVOA
- Lions: 29th by DVOA
- Raiders: 17th by DVOA
In short, the numbers Lock posted in taking the Broncos to four wins in five games came against five defenses that all finished below median, with three of them finishing the season in the bottom quartile. Additionally, in his review of Lock’s play in The Athletic, Nguyen pointed out the following:
Some of Lock’s advanced metrics paint a grim picture. The most stable Pro Football Focus metric for a quarterback is his pass mark in a clean pocket. Lock’s pass rating from a clean pocket was 71.6, which ranked him 32nd of 39 NFL QBs with over 100 clean pocket returns.
He struggled with blitz in college and didn’t improve in that area in the pros. Lock recorded a pass rating of 47.3 PFF against the blitz, ranking 35th among 37 QBs with over 50 dropouts against the blitz.
Its rate of top-selling games was exceptionally high. 3.3% of his passes were deemed worthy of a turnover, which ranks him 33rd among qualified quarterbacks.
For those willing to look into even more advanced metrics, the expected points added by Lock’s Dropback paints a somewhat ugly picture.
It should be noted that Lock only played well in 1 of these games (Houston). 0.71 EPA/dropback against Houston, -0.02 against the other 4 opponents.
— Khal_Draco (@KhalDraco3) March 17, 2022
Now, the giant caveat here, of course, is that Lock was an extremely raw rookie in 2019 after playing in a widespread Missouri offense in college. No doubt he has a strong arm and has shown flashes of athleticism at times, but his mechanics and execution when he got a chance to see the pitch was, in a word, ugly. . Obviously, however, he’s only 25 and still has plenty of time to develop as a player.
It won’t be known how Lock will fare on the field for the Seahawks until at least training camp in August. Plus, it’s entirely possible that Shane Waldron, who was the passing game coordinator for the 2018 NFC Champion Rams and Jared Goff, could pull off another miracle.