For Broncos second-year quarterback Drew Lock, patience is beginning to pay off.

After sitting through his rookie season holding the clipboard for Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen, the Mizzou product finally got his opportunity to play in the final five games of the year. Lock would end up going 4-1 as a starter with his lone loss coming in a snow-covered game in a homecoming matchup against the Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs.

But what can we expect in his sophomore season? And has Denver seen enough to believe that Lock is in fact their franchise quarterback? It’s a limited sample, but early indications are that the Broncos are very much all-in on Lock.

 

Broncos 2020 Overview:

This offseason, after throwing for seven touchdowns, over 1,000 yards and completing 64.1% of his passes, the Broncos have gone all in on building an offense designed to try and play catch-up against their division rivals this season. If you can’t stop Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, at least try to go toe-to-toe with them.

Melvin Gordon comes over from the Chargers to shore up an already solid rushing attack led by Phillip Lindsay who has run for 1,000+ yards in both of his two seasons in the NFL. Third-year receiver Courtland Sutton is coming off an explosive 2019 season where he went for over 1,100 receiving yards, including 18 plays of 20+ yards or above. He’s now joined by two receivers taken with Denver’s first two picks in the draft: Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Penn State’s KJ Hamler. And, second year tight end Noah Fant finished with 40 catches and three touchdowns, showcasing his improving ability as one of the most explosive tight ends in the NFL with a long of 75 yards to lead the team.

With second-year quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson taking home the MVP in the last two years, there’s already been some action on sites like DraftKings Sportsbook and FOX Bet for Lock to win the award in 2020.

 

Drew Lock Over/Under 3375.5 Passing Yards:

DraftKings Sportsbook has set Lock’s total on passing yards at 3375.5, which feels awfully specific. When averaged out over a full 16-game season, that comes out to just under 211 passing yards per game. Lock last season finished with an average of 204 passing yards per game, and even in solid outings down the stretch against Detroit and Oakland, Lock checked down quite a bit, throwing for an average of 184.5 yards.

However, in Year 2, I expect Lock’s passing yardage to go up substantially. If Luck were to stay on pace with his 204 passing yards on a per game basis, that would rank him 32nd in the NFL. With a full offseason as the starting quarterback, along with the added weapons on offense and a terrific pass catching back in Melvin Gordon, Lock should surpass this assuming health is never an issue.

 

Drew Lock Over/Under 21.5 Passing Touchdowns:

Similar to the passing yards projections, if Lock is to take a massive step forward with an improved offense, Lock should also be able to cruise past this total easily as well with the weapons around him. But that number is also a bit deceiving.

Only 16 quarterbacks in 2019 threw for more than 21 touchdowns last year. Lock averaged just 1.4 touchdowns per game in his five starts last year, but when played out over a full season, that number projects to 22.4 TDs through 16 games.

With more receiving options and an offseason emphasis spent designed around improving the explosiveness and versatility of this offense, it’s hard not to drink the kool-aid on Denver and take the over here as well. Also, thanks to the fantasy Hall of Famer Brad Evans for the #FadeTheNoise line movement from 20.5 to 21.5.

 

 

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Ben joins the Action Rush team after spending the last few years as the Director of Media Operations and On-Air Analyst for Fantasy Sports Markets, a startup in the DFS and sports wagering industry. Before that, he was the Host of "Fantasy Football Sunday" on 610 Sports Radio (KCSP). He's been the Host & Executive Producer of "The Awful Announcing Podcast" since 2017 and is always in search of the perfect prop bet to pounce on.
Ben Heisler
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