Drew Lock has a lot of work to do if he’s to join the ranks of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.
Lock impressed in limited action as the Broncos’ starting quarterback last season. For the first time since Peyton Manning retired after winning Super Bowl 50, it appears Denver has a bright future behind center.
Bettors are taking note of that optimism. One gambling site is even seeing people put the Denver Broncos starting quarterback in the same conversation as Jackson and Mahomes in one specific regard.
Drew Lock had a solid rookie season
Before he entered the NFL, Drew Lock starred at Missouri. Lock completed 56.9% of his passes for 12,193 yards, 99 touchdowns, and 39 interceptions in four years.
Concerns about Lock’s accuracy and a “gunslinger mentality” dropped him in the NFL draft. Denver selected Lock with the 42nd overall pick, allowing him to sit behind veteran Joe Flacco.
After he sat out most of the year with a thumb injury, Lock debuted against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 1, 2019. The rookie completed 64.2% of his passes for 134 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Lock finished his rookie season having completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions. Denver went 4-1 in his five starts.
At least one gambling site is high on Lock for MVP
The last two NFL MVPs, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, won the award in their second season and first full year as a starter.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz appeared to the MVP front-runner in 2017, his second season. Wentz tore his ACL in the season’s final month and lost the award to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Clearly, the trend is second-year quarterbacks enjoying MVP-caliber seasons. Bettors think Drew Lock and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray are each capable of taking that leap.
Lock and Murray each appeared on 9% of all William Hill tickets for the 2020 MVP. No other quarterback appeared on a higher percentage of tickets.
Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, has 20/1 odds to win the award; Lock is at 100/1.
Could Drew Lock really have an MVP-level season?
Drew Lock had a solid first five games to begin his NFL career. Lock also has a better offensive than people give him credit for.
Denver drafted Alabama star receiver Jerry Jeudy in the first round this spring and signed former Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon to split carries with Phillip Lindsay.
Young receiver Courtland Sutton made his first Pro Bowl with a 72-catch, 1,112-yard, six-touchdown season.
Unfortunately for Lock, he’ll have to play the 2020 season without starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James. James opted out of the season.
There have been stranger MVP winners in NFL history. Drew Lock seems primed for an improved 2020 season, but bettors may want to play it safer and go with a proven commodity like Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson.
Or, if bettors are serious about the second-year quarterback trend, go for Kyler Murray. Hold off on Lock for another year or two.