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Drew Lock could be the key to the Broncos getting Aaron Rodgers

May 6, 2021, 6:23 AM
INGLEWOOD, CO - DECEMBER 27: Drew Lock (3) of the Denver Broncos puts his helmet on before playing ...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos need an upgrade at the quarterback position. Drew Lock was supposed to be the quarterback of the future, but he’s a work in progress who was regularly one of the worst quarterbacks in the league last year.

Since Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is disgruntled with the team and wants to be traded, the Broncos should be in the mix as one of the teams who could get him. Lock could be a player that could sweeten the deal for the Packers (along with at least two future first-round picks).

In fact, rumblings are that Rodgers prefers the Broncos as one of the teams who could trade for him. Regardless of what you think about Lock, and opinions vary wildly, everyone under the sun knows that adding Rodgers is a no-brainer.

On Wednesday night’s edition of “Nick and Cecil,” we talked to ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky and he reminded us of something most didn’t know or forgot.

Before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Packers did a lot of research on Lock. They liked him and many mock drafts guessed he would be their pick in the first round. Instead, the Broncos were able to get Lock. But now, the Packers may have a chance at a redux.

Could Lock be the key for the Broncos getting Rodgers? Let’s take a look.

***

Pre-Draft Visit

That pre-draft visit could be the key for the Broncos. What did the team think of Lock? They may have liked him, but it was not enough for them to select him in the first round that year. Instead, the Packers passed on him twice in the first round with Rashan Gary (DE, Michigan) at No. 12 overall and Darnell Savage (S, Maryland) at No. 21.

Lock went at No. 42 overall to the Broncos and the Packers just missed him, as they sat at the 44th pick. We will never know if they would have taken him there, but it would have made sense based on their pre-draft interest.

The Packers liked Lock before the draft, but could they still like him now? They didn’t take him, so they don’t love him, but has that changed with time and this dire Rodgers situation? We’ll see what the Packers want to do in the near future.

***

He Wasn’t Ready

Adding Lock may seem outlandish to some because they already have a young quarterback on their roster in 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love. That’s the pick that seemed to really tick off Rodgers, which led to him turning in an MVP performance in 2020. Love is an interesting pick with upside, but he was raw coming out of Utah State and needs more time.

Last year as a rookie, Love could not even win the backup job to Rodgers. Instead, the team went with Tim Boyle. Who? That’s what many are saying, but Boyle filled the air with footballs during his one year at Eastern Kentucky (UCONN transfer) and was picked up by Green Bay as a college free agent in 2018.

Love was bad in training camp last year and beat writers around the team speculated that he seemed in over his head in the Packers offense. Perhaps that has changed, but it’s unlikely to be the case. If the team moves on from Rodgers, Love is not ready to start. In fact, he may not be ready to compete for the starting job until 2022 or beyond. It’s early in his career, but Love is looking like a bust.

Lock is better than Love right now. Perhaps Love has more upside than Lock, but he’s got more work to do and has no experience. Anyone thinking Love is a starting option for the Packers in 2021 is mistaken.

***

All About Fit

The dirty secret in the NFL is that it’s all about fit. Talent is everywhere in the league, but if the players don’t fit the system, then it doesn’t matter.

Lock doesn’t fit the Pat Shurmur system – not the way Shurmur wants to run things. Yes, at the end of last year, Lock performed better – but it was the changes to the offense that Shurmur made that helped the young quarterback. Shurmur started implementing things that former offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello did with Lock during his rookie year. In five games as a rookie, Lock looked good (expect for the Chiefs game in the snow, but I give him a pass for that one) largely because of the system he was in.

That system is the Shanahan/Kubiak system, and it works wonders for a quarterback like Lock. Having him in a Shurmur offense doesn’t bring out the same characteristics and traits that he flashed under Scangarello. Yes, Shurmur did change, and he could change further (why didn’t he do this sooner?), but is that what he wants to do?

If you love Lock, then going to the Packers should be something you root for. Matt LaFleur is a Shanahan disciple and would run an offense that Lock could thrive in. Anyone who watches film knows that Lock can be at least a solid starter if the system is right around him. The Broncos know that, and the Packers know that. It’s one of the main reasons why Lock may be the key to get Rodgers to Denver.

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