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Vic Fangio: Drew Lock 'can be' Broncos starter in 2021, but needs to improve

Drew Lock didn't do enough in 2020 to prove he's Denver's franchise quarterback.

That doesn't mean his time in Denver is over. Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday Lock "can be" the team's starter in 2021, provided he spends the offseason working on his ability to play the position.

"I do think he can come back better," Fangio said of Lock, via KDVR's Dave Althouse. "You can make improvements just in the class room."

Lock will have to prove his worth to a new general manager in Denver after Monday's announcement that longtime GM John Elway would be moving to a senior role in football operations above GM duties. The promotion cleared space for the Broncos to hire a new personnel man, who will be tasked with improving the team in a number of areas, which could include quarterback.

Lock was Elway's latest attempt to identify, draft and develop a franchise player at the position after swinging and missing on the likes of Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch in recent years. Lock showed promise as a rookie and had a little bit of momentum early in his second season before running into injury issues, limiting him to 13 games in 2020. He finished with a completion percentage below 58 and a nearly even touchdown-to-interception ratio (16-15) while also throwing for 2,933 yards on 443 attempts and posting a final passer rating of 75.4.

Those numbers aren't good enough to support Lock's case for the role of franchise quarterback, meaning his third season will need to be his best if he wants to remain in Denver for the long haul. Whomever Denver hires at GM will be expected to keep a close watch over Lock, who will hope to get some help next year in the form of receiver Courtland Sutton, who missed all but one game in 2020 with a season-ending knee injury.

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