Missouri QB Drew Lock believes four years at Missouri was his smartest decision

Ron Borges

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock fit the NFL prototype and threw for over 12,000 yards and 99 touchdowns in the SEC, but those aren’t the numbers he believes will make him a success in the NFL.

He believes it’s the number four.

That’s how many years he was a starting quarterback at Missouri, making him a rarity as someone who stayed in college a full four years before making himself eligible for the NFL draft this week.

That wasn’t enough to convince an NFL team to make him a first-round draft choice, but Lock told the Talk of Fame Network this week it was enough to convince him that someone will ultimately benefit from that decision.

“It was huge in my development,’’ Lock said of his decision to stay in college. “The thing I wanted was to learn a little more (about playing football’s most difficult position). It made me a better quarterback.’’

Lock led the nation with 44 touchdown passes in 2017 and led the SEC in passing yards during an all-conference junior season so he could easily have come out a year ago and been a highly regarded draft pick. Lock was aware of that and wrestled with the choices he faced a year ago.

“It definitely was a process getting to that decision,’’ he told the Talk of FameNetwork of his decision to forego the 2018 draft and play his senior season at Missouri. “In the end, I personally thought I could throw with anyone in the draft.’’

Lock made that clear last season but opted to remain, thus starting in 46 college games and serving, as his father once had, as team captain. In Lock’s case, he was a three-year captain who had gone from a freshman starter “thrown into the fire,’’ as Lock put it, to arguably the most prepared quarterback in this year’s draft.

“The number-one word is 'anxious,' ’’ he said of his long wait and also of the experience of throwing in an empty stadium in near silence at the combine in February.

“That was pretty friggin’ weird,’’ Lock said . “Nobody is talking. You can’t really get into a groove. Three throws then you wait for six or seven other quarterbacks (to throw). It’s another test, I guess.’’

Quarterbacking tests, Drew Lock has so far passed with flying colors. And he believes he will continue in part because he stayed the course at Missouri.

Draft guru and founder of The Huddle Report, Robbie Esch also dropped by to visit and analyze this year’s draft. Esch shares his top 100 and final mock draft and explains why, had he been in Arizona GM Steve Keim’s shoes, he would have taken Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa over Heisman Trophy-winner Kyler Murray with the draft’s first pick.

Also this week, Ron Borges lowers the boom on the explosion in quarterback salaries, arguing those numbers – like all the other ones surrounding today’s quarterbacks – are hyper-inflated.

Along with his co-hosts, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge as well as Hall-of-Fame voter Ira Kaufman, our Talk of Fame guys also conduct a draft of their own this week. They pick 12 players they believe would be first-round draft picks for the Hall of Fame if they hadn’t already been passed over, in some cases for years.

Since all four are Hall-of-Fame voters, that draft is as accurate as the one conducted in Nashville this weekend.

To hear Lock, Esch and our boys just go to your local SB Nation radio station Wednesday nights or download the free podcast at iTunes or on the TuneIn app. You can also hear the show and all our past interviews at our website, talkoffamenetwork.com,