Lock started 46 games over four seasons at Missouri, tossing for 12,193 yards and 99 TDs to 39 INTs over his career.
Now Elway would like to groom the 22-year-old for at least a year behind Flacco to learn the nuances of playing NFL quarterback, including going under center more often.
"Drew obviously has a lot of talent, he's got a lot of arm talent, but he's got to work on a lot of different things too," Elway said. "I think when you look at what he did in college offensively, he's in the spread offense and wasn't under the center very often. 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."
This is the point of the post when we highlight that Elway's previous attempts to groom a young signal-caller crashed and burned. Brock Osweiler, a second-round pick, washed out as a capable starter after leaving Denver. Trevor Siemian, a seventh-rounder, is a decent backup but didn't grow into much more. And most importantly, Paxton Lynch flamed out with the intensity of one thousand suns.
The Lynch experience informs the Broncos' plans with Lock -- and likely offers Denver fans a bit of nausea. Like Lynch, Lock is making the transition from a shotgun offense at college to a pro-style system Elway prefers. Unlike Lynch, at this point Lock seems a more polished thrower and is better at reading the field (where Lynch really struggled) coming out of college. Being taken in the second round instead of the first also takes a smidge of pressure off Lock.
Ideally for Denver, Lock would soak up all the lessons from Flacco, then take over next season, when the Broncos can easily get out of the veteran's contract.
The rookie said being a backup would be an "adjustment," but that he's ready to absorb all that Flacco has to offer.
"Because I got to start that long [at Missouri], I got to see what a great backup looks like," Lock said. "... I think I'll kind of get to realize that, is getting in the film room with [Flacco], 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?"
The Broncos' plans to bring Lynch along slowly didn't work out. That doesn't mean Lock will follow a similar path.
Credit Elway for continuing to swing at quarterbacks, despite missing so many times recently. Sooner or later he has to connect, right?