Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock says he wants to prove president of football operations John Elway was right when he chose him in the 2019 NFL Draft. He plans to use that anecdote as motivation for the 2020 NFL season.
The Broncos have struggled to find a steady quarterback after future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired after the 2015 season.
Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen all started games for Denver between the end of Manning’s tenure and Lock’s first career start in December.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about the quarterbacks in Denver,” Lock told NFL Network. “You know, Peyton was the man there, obviously. We’ve had some good ones, and up-and-down [QBs] in there, and I didn’t want to be that for John.
“I want to be a steady guy for him. I want to show everybody that they drafted the right quarterback.”
Elway has worked in the Broncos’ front office since 2011. Denver went to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. Denver hasn’t returned to the playoffs since Manning and Osweiler led the Broncos to a Super Bowl title in 2016.
The Broncos went to the playoffs after Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton started regular season games during Elway’s first season in the front office. The Broncos signed Manning the next off-season.
Elway, who also is the team’s general manager, has had several chances to fill the void at quarterback but his previous draft picks and signings haven’t panned out. The Broncos selected Lynch with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft before he was released in 2018.
Lock was a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He completed 64 percent of his throws for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions in five starts for Denver at the end of the 2019 season.
Elway told reporters after the 2020 NFL Draft that Lock’s end-of-the-year performance showed him signs that he could be “very successful” in the NFL. The Broncos have also worked to add talent around the young quarterback through free agency and in the draft.
Denver selected former Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Broncos also picked former Penn State wide receiver K.J. Hamler in the second round and added former Florida wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland in the seventh round. Former Iowa tight end Noah Fant was the Broncos’ first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Courtland Sutton, a second-round pick in 2018, also has blossomed into one of the best young wide receivers in the league. The Broncos also signed former Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon this off-season. Gordon is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL.
“I’m super pumped about the guys we added to this squad,” Lock told reporters after the draft.
Lock is under contract with the Broncos for the next three seasons.