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3 Reasons Drew Lock's Days in Denver are Numbered

Drew Lock seems to have punched a ticket out of the Mile High City. Here's why.

The 2021 season was Drew Lock's last chance to prove he's the Denver Broncos' quarterback of the future. When GM George Paton decided to pass on the two highly-touted quarterbacks in the first round of the draft, many interpreted it as a tacit endorsement of Lock. 

Paton also acquired veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the doorstep of the draft, and before he knew it, Lock went from the incumbent starter to being pitched in a 50/50 competition for the job. 

Lock would lose the battle to Teddy and ever since, fans and media alike have wondered whether that moment ended the former SEC star's candidacy as the Broncos' future at the position. Today, I'm here to answer why that monumental decision to roll with Bridgewater marked the beginning of the end of Lock's days in Denver.

Confidence in a Downward Spiral

Entering training camp, Lock seemed to be primed to take the next step in his progression as an NFL quarterback. He started the preseason strong, punctuated by an 80-yard touchdown to KJ Hamler. 

Alas, Bridgewater also had an impressive performance in his preseason Game 2 start. As the competition progressed, head coach Vic Fangio ultimately went with the safer veteran option in Bridgewater as his signal-caller. 

The decision came as a shock to Broncos Country, with perhaps none more stunned than Lock. He would take it in stride and say all the right things at the podium, but deep down, it was a massive blow for him and his confidence.

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Signs of Regression

As the season progressed, Lock has gotten a chance to play due to Teddy's injuries. But Lock's play appears to have regressed, and the joy he once played with seems to be a thing of the past. 

Lock looks like he's trying to play safe with a short passing game, and yet, he still finds a way to turn the ball over even then. If Lock can't snap out of his funk, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get traded in the offseason or outright cut.

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Can't be Trusted

One of the main reasons Fangio decided to go with Bridgewater is because the coaches can trust Teddy not to throw head-scratching interceptions at the most inopportune time. Teddy might not throw 30 touchdowns, but he generally plays well enough to bring home a victory.

On the other hand, Lock not only turns the ball over, but he also does it at the worst possible moment. I don't know how many times I've seen him throw a pick during a heretofore promising drive, or make a boneheaded decision with the Broncos backed up on their side of the 50-yard line. 

Most of Broncos Country was willing to deal with Lock's growing pains, but now in his third year, he doesn't seem to have learned from past mistakes.

Bottom Line

Last season Lock had his ups and downs but generally took a positive outlook the Broncos' young quarterback into the offseason with the expectation that he'd continue to grow into the position. An optimistic mindset and a short-term memory are vital traits to have as a signal-caller, but only if a guy learns from his mistakes and grows into a better player because of it. 

Lock has struggled with this aspect of the game mightily. Now that Fangio has lost faith in his young quarterback, and John Elway isn't there to sandbag a starting position on the team, Lock seems to be crumbling right before our eyes. 

It's looking like what the future has in store for Lock is a sad finish to a once-promising player.

Follow Kenneth on Twitter @KennethMHH.

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