NFL.com analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah takes a "first look" at some of college football's top players for 2018. This is the fifth in a series of scouting reports that will run throughout the offseason. Click through the tabs below to see all of them.
This year's group of quarterback prospects might lack the star power of last season's crew, but there is still plenty of talent on display. Drew Lock is a great example. Missouri and other SEC fans are well aware of his talents, but the rest of the country probably doesn't know much about him as we head toward the college season. I recently studied three of his games. Here's my scouting report.
Drew Lock, senior quarterback, Missouri
Height, weight: 6-foot-4, 225 pounds (school measurements).
2017 statistics: 242-of-419 (57.8 percent) for 3,964 yards, 44 TDs and 13 INTs.
Game tape watched: South Carolina (Sept. 9, 2017), Tennessee (Nov. 11, 2017), Vanderbilt (Nov. 18, 2017).
What I liked: Lock has an intriguing skill set. He's big, athletic and possesses plenty of arm strength. I love the urgency of his footwork in the pocket and he does a nice job of getting the ball out quickly. He can easily drive the ball outside the numbers and throws a beautiful dig route over the middle.
When he's pressured, he flashes good pocket awareness and can buy time with his legs. He didn't run a lot in the games I studied, but he has the desired athleticism to mix in some speed option and zone read on occasion.
Where he needs to improve: He does predetermine some throws at times, and that leads to turnovers. Lock needs to improve his field vision and he also has some inconsistencies with the deep ball. However, the area that needs to improve the most is the talent around him. There were several dropped passes in each game I studied. There is some concern about his completion percentage (54.5 for his career), but the drops are impossible to ignore.
Biggest takeaway: I had a chance to see Lock throw live at the Elite 11 Finals in Redondo Beach, Calif., recently and I thought he was solid but not spectacular. I was pleasantly surprised after studying his tape. He made numerous big-boy throws, threading the needle against very tight coverage. He threw a loose ball at the camp, but he threw a very tight and crisp ball on the game tape. There are still several rough areas that need to be smoothed out, but there is plenty of talent to work with in this young QB. I believe he has the necessary tools to become a quality NFL starter.
He reminds me of: I see a lot of similarities to Patrick Mahomes when he was coming out of Texas Tech. Both guys have big arms and move around really well. They can extend plays with their athleticism and fit balls into tiny windows. However, like Mahomes, Lock needs to be more judicious with the football and cut down on the mistakes that are a result of overaggressiveness.
I can't wait to see him play: Georgia. The Tigers will host the Bulldogs on Sept. 22. This is a crucial game in the SEC East and the UGA defense will present a huge challenge for Lock. The Bulldogs have the talent in the secondary to make things very difficult for Mizzou's offense. If Lock can put up solid numbers and keep the game close in the fourth quarter, it will be a big boost to his draft stock.