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2019 Jaguars NFL Draft Profile: Missouri QB Drew Lock

Zach Goodall

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Nov 3, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Drew Lock (3) calls a play during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While things are certainly “Haskins or Bust” in Jacksonville after Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins declared for the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday, Jaguars fans need to keep their minds open to the case in which the Jaguars can’t find a way to land the Heisman-contending gunslinger as their franchise quarterback.

Therefore, Locked On Jaguars has your fourth 2019 NFL Draft quarterback scouting report here. We’ve already covered Haskins, West Virginia’s Will Grier, and Duke’s Daniel Jones (as well as Oregon’s Justin Herbert, but he has announced he will return to school in 2019).

Let’s take a look at Missouri quarterback Drew Lock.

Lock, a 22 year old senior prospect who will be participating in the Senior Bowl in a couple of weeks, comes from a spread-out offensive system with almost four years (46 games) of starting experience. According to his profile on Missouri’s football website, Lock is the 9th SEC quarterback to ever have over 10,000 career passing yards, finishing his Tigers career with a stat-line of 883/1553 (56.9%), 12193 yards, 99 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. He also added 437 yards on 202 carries and nine rushing touchdowns.

The 6-4, 225 lb. quarterback stands out to me as a project quarterback with a ton of upside so long as he can nail down the mental side of the game, in terms of decision making, consistency, and NFL schematics. Let’s get to the film to see what Lock has to offer, and what he must improve on.

Natural throwing ability

Simply put: Drew Lock was put on this Earth to throw a football.

Lock manuevers pressure off the edge and from the B-gap blitzing linebacker and steps into a gorgeous, 42 air-yard throw to the middle of the field, hitting his receiver perfectly in stride and displaying necessary pocket comfort in order to score this touchdown.

And the best part about it is he makes the throw look so effortless. He never even set his feet, yet was able to generate power off of his front-step into the ball and deliver an absolute beauty.

Lock reads the entirety of the field from right to left and threads this ball with a needle. As soon as he gets his eyes on the target he launches this pass a whopping 57 air yards and about as in stride for a throw that deep as it can get.

When Lock is clean of pressure and can read his options with confidence, he can make almost any throw on the field. Especially deep balls, as he possesses a cannon of an arm and the necessary touch to put the ball where it needs to be.

Without ever setting his feet due to a pocket slide from pressure, Lock makes a cross-body toss to the back corner of the endzone in a window between two defenders for a score. While that combination isn’t usually recommended, natural throwing talents such as Lock are capable of making high-difficulty throws like this one.

The touch, loft, and placement on this sideline ball into double coverage is bonkers, and honestly one of the best throws I’ve seen while watching the 2019 QB class. On the previous drive, Lock tried this throw and it was intercepted (which will be broken down later in this piece), so going right back to it against a defense as talented as Alabama’s on back-to-back drives, especially on 3rd and long, is risky. But Lock puts this ball in the most perfect spot he could, with the outside cornerback getting back to the ball and an enclosing safety coming down to play the ball.

Clean pocket, Lock scans left to right and once again delivers a polished ball from a squeaky-clean release in between a tight man coverage cornerback and an enclosing safety. Lock puts this ball low and away through the tight window where the receiver elongates his body to bring in a perfectly led ball, no pause from his stride whatsoever. An absolute dime.

I have legitimate concerns with Lock reading defenses, which I’ll break down later on. But this play gives hope that he can mature in that aspect with the correct grooming. In a clean pocket, Lock reads post-snap that the two highlighted defenders are squaring up underneath right before the receiver breaks into the inside of his route. Lock diagnoses that and lets this ball rip to the middle of the field as the safety has taken on coverage on top. Lock needs to show this maturity much more often, but this is a smart football play and a pretty ball.

This is a perfect mix of velocity, accuracy, and clutch – all in this one tight window throw. Not much more explanation needed.

Mechanics

Drew Lock’s mechanics are interesting to breakdown.

When it comes to Lock’s upper-body mechanics: They’re great. His throwing motion and release are quick, compact, and precise. His shoulders are square, his forearm never drops below elbow-level which helps maintain his release speed, and his wrist-flick is super swift which gives his passes a truly beautiful spiral.

Here are a couple more examples of his arm mechanics to both the short and long field:

Even on this sidearm throw on a quick release post-pull on an RPO, Lock maintains a compact motion where he keeps his forearm even and above his elbow. Considering he sidearms this to keep the ball away from the nickel defender, the difficulty to maintain sound throwing mechanics here is high, despite the short route.

A quick release is the difference between this sideline adjustment catch for a 1st down and a batted pass and potential turnover on a long 3rd down here. Right out of the pull Lock gets this ball out with a lengthy enclosing blitzer in his face. The ability to release this so cleanly and quickly against the pressure, much less the touch and placement of the throw to the sideline itself, is top notch.

The release of this pass comes with the ball at helmet level, and it comes out incredibly smoothly and results in a bread-basket ball, in stride, down the sideline.

Now, with all of these pretty passes and a display of clean upper-body mechanics, I’m sure you have starteed to sell yourself on Drew Lock. But now, it’s time to flip the switch and understand what Lock doesn’t do well.

While his throwing motion and release are superb, Lock’s footwork is often a mess. Especially when there’s even a hint of pressure coming his way, he will begin to cross his feet over and sporadically move them around.

Pressure coming, and Lock sees no opening – even his RB checkdown to his right. Rather than trying to evade or at worst stepping up and ducking into a sack for minimal gain with pressure being obvious, Lock wants to play hero-ball and his poor, nervous footwork sets in. He starts backpedaling with no plan and ends up getting contacted 14 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a 3rd down, down two scores. What makes it worse? Lock panics and kind of hands the ball away before taking a sack, which counts as a fumble, that Alabama recovers in their own redzone. This is a serious red-flag type of play, from any quarterback – even the smartest of QBs.

Yes, this is a free play as Oklahoma State has 12 men on the field, but free plays can be utilized and this one provided touchdown-scoring ability. Right out of the RPO-pull, Lock begins to windup and target his opening primary read in the endzone. But Lock’s feet are totally uneven with his body and he throws the ball as he finally sets his feet. His weight never evens out enough to let this go cleanly and rather trusts his arm to make this throw way too much. This ends up being a mistake – Lock overthrows this ball by a good amount, and with too much velocity for his receiver to get underneath it. If Lock evens out his base and steps into what should be an easy throw here, Missouri declines the 12 men penalty because they instead put six points on the board.

This is a designed-RB screen. Lock knows that the left side is going to open up, especially considering Georgia blitzes the middle of the line. But Lock hops around with his feet and squares his body – ten toes aimed – at his target and can’t get the ball over the oncoming pressure. There was no way Lock could put the touch and depth he needed on this ball with his sporadic feet failing to create a decent base to enable getting air under this throw. This was one of multiple batted passes at the line of scrimmage that Lock had against Georgia.

Decision making and mental processing

This is where Lock struggles the most. Three plays above where Lock backpedals into a strip sack vs. Alabama applies to this section as well.

The underneath cross opens up and Lock stares it down like a hawk, but doesn’t strike despite clear pressure coming his way. He panics and begins to roll rightonly to realize a roll will turn into a sack. So, Lock plants his back foot and YOLO’s this ball back to the now-covered-but-was-previously-open cross route and sails the receiver. And Lock’s lucky the intermediate middle of the field didn’t have a route combo or else a defender most likely is in the area of the ball and intercepts it. Lock can’t abandon that wide-open read, and then panic and try to force it later on with pressure. That will lead to deadly mistakes.

Lock begins to side-step as a he diagnoses pressure coming off the right edge, but how doesn’t he realize that pressure isn’t slowing down? He holds onto the ball without a plan with a defensive end chasing his tail and when he finally begin his windup, his arm is already getting chopped at which forces a strip-sack. While the bottom slot receiver gets covered up quickly, there’s an opportunity with him in the short field to, at absolute worst, target this pass low and away in order to prevent a sack, or as what happened here, a turnover-worthy play.

Another glimpse at the pauses Lock has mentally. Double verticals to his left side, the safety is clearly opening his hips (this is important!) to the sideline before Lock even winds this pass up, and that opens up the middle of the field in a favorable speed matchup for the slot. If Lock sees that, this becomes a gimme-touchdown with Lock’s natural arm talent. He can make that deep throw assuming he reads what’s happening… he just doesn’t. A rangy NFL free safety probably gets up and intercepts this sideline ball. But as long as that safety dedicates his hips to that sideline vertical, the slot should almost always be open unless he’s against a speedster of a nickel cornerback. That isn’t the case here, Lock NEEDS to see that.

Lock seemingly doesn’t trust his protection as he abandons the strong-side here and targets a tightly-covered sideline route one-on-one. In doing so, Lock misses an easy chance to step up to the left and target the flats, but instead he way underthrows the sideline ball and it gets intercepted. Lock has to see pre-snap that the boundary corners are pressing but the top-left slot receiver has a flats advantage with the nickel playing off-man. Especially against competition such as Alabama’s defense, diagnosing and taking advantage of what’s being given is an area of concern for Lock and that’s evident here.

As soon as his throwing arm was hit and he had to tuck the ball with his opposite arm, Lock needed to understand he needed to play safe with the ball. Tuck it, take the sack, try to run when you break the contact, anything but throw it…

And yet, as soon as he breaks contact he flips the ball back into his throwing hand and just let’s the ball go. Lock had no time while taking hits to read if any receiver, much less the receiver in sideline traffic, to justify making this throw, but he does. Especially being down two scores, Lock has to be sharper than to make this type of decision. These types of decisions can lose teams ball games if luck doesn’t go their way.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Cannon arm
  • Natural upper-body mechanics, clean and compact throwing motion
  • 40 games of starting experience
  • SEC schedule, regularly played vs. top defenses
  • Completion % increased by 3-5% every year
  • Mobile in and out of pocket
  • Frame is excellent at 6-4, 225
  • Touch throws are polished when unpressured

Cons

  • Lower body mechanics are inconsistent
  • Feet are sporadic vs. pressure, base can be inconsistent
  • Averages nearly a turnover a game in career (47 interceptions/fumbles in 50 games)
  • Simplified scheme hasn’t developed mental processing
  • Misses easy reads under pressure
  • Pre-snap reads are minimal on tape

Conclusion

Drew Lock is that yearly quarterback that “has all the tools”, but needs work developing them.

Now, that isn’t necessarily a criticism, rather it’s a warning. I believe Lock has all the potential in the world to be an upper-level NFL starting quarterback if he enters a system that develops him at his own pace – think like Patrick Mahomes under Andy Reid in Kansas City. If Lock enters a system where he isn’t rushed into playing time and rather receives proper training to advance his mental game, it’s hard to imagine that he couldn’t find success with the natural physical talent he possesses.

However, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in a time-crunch where they must find a quarterback they can rely on out of the gate and that can win games now. Drew Lock is far from that. He’s a project. And the Jaguars are in no position to try to develop a project quarterback at this time.

Now, a team like the Denver Broncos makes a ton of sense, with a bridge quarterback in house for another season, some roster overhauling to do, and a new head coach entering the fold. If Lock falls out of the first round, Tampa Bay also makes a ton of sense under new head coach Bruce Arians, as Jameis Winston is entering his make-or-break year to prove he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Anywhere Lock can sit and learn the mental aspects of the professional game would be optimal for his future success. Jacksonville isn’t that place.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Locked On Jaguars podcast and website. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars finalize coaching staff after landing offensive coordinator

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have finalized their 2019 coaching staff. They’ve officially hired their offensive coordinator as well as other staff members. John DeFilippo was the headliner for today as the replacement for Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.

The Jaguars also announced the remainder of their staff. As we covered in the past couple of weeks they have hired several position coaches, including Terry Robiskie as running backs coach, George Warhop as the offensive line coach, and Tim Walton as the secondary coach.

The rest of the staff was a mystery until today. The Jaguars announced they will be promoting assistant defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich to defensive line coach, and they have hired David Merritt as their assistant defensive line coach. Merritt spent the past season as the Arizona Cardinals defensive backs coach. Joe Danna will be promoted as well and will be coaching the safeties. Danna has been on the Jaguars staff as an assistant secondary coach since 2017. John Donovan, another assistant coach for the Jaguars, will be promoted to assistant running backs coach.

It is worth noting in today’s presser Marrone stated Tim Walton will coach the cornerbacks, and Joe Danna will coach the safeties. “I thought we could get more out of our coaches and players if we split the secondary,” Marrone said. This is worth noting as Walton actually held a similar role with the Giants for the past couple of seasons.

Scott Milanovich will remain on staff as the quarterbacks coach. Milanovich was the play-caller for the final five weeks of the season. Milanovich has been with the Jaguars as a QB coach since 2017.

There were no other major coaching changes on the Jaguars roster as the rest of the staff will stay intact.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars will retain quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich

Zach Goodall

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Nov 26, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will retain Scott Milanovich as their quarterbacks coach, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Milanovich filled in as interim offensive coordinator after Nate Hackett was fired midseason, but the offense saw no improvement with the QB coach calling plays. However, the team appears confident that the former Grey Cup-winning CFL head coach can handle the responsibilities of quarterbacks coach, a position Milanovich has held since Doug Marrone was named head coach in 2017.

The team hired John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator earlier today. You can read why he was a fantastic hire here. Marrone mentioned during his press conference today that Milanovich and DeFilippo have a previous relationship in Maryland.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to hire John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator, per report

Zach Goodall

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Credit: 247Sports.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to hire John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator, per report.

DeFilippo was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator during the 2018 season, but was fired during Week 15, apparently due to a conflict of play-calling interests with head coach Mike Zimmer, who wanted to focus more on the run game than DeFilippo’s strengths with the pass game.

However, despite a lack of calling the run, Vikings quarterback had a historic season as a passer when it came to efficiency, being the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4000+ yards, 30+ touchdowns, 10 or fewer interceptions, and complete at least 70% of his passes. Much of this can be credited to DeFilippo’s influence in the passing game.

Previous to Minnesota, DeFilippo was the Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach during their 2017-18 Super Bowl run, where he was key to the development of Carson Wentz and rejuvenation of Nick Foles’ career after Wentz tore his ACL. He also served as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2015, where then-36 year old Josh McCown posted the second most touchdown passes of his 13 year career with 12 in eight games, along with 2109 passing yards, a 63.7 completion percentage, and only four interceptions.

DeFilippo’s first NFL coaching job came in 2005 as an offensive quality control coach under then New York Giants head coach and current EVP of Football Operations for the Jaguars, Tom Coughlin. So there’s a definite connection to the team in ths hire.

At the end of the day, the Jaguars number one priority this offseason has to be, and will be, fixing their passing game woes. Quarterback Blake Bortles needs to be replaced, and the team’s next signal caller must be groomed into a successful QB. DeFilippo has proven with Cousins, Foles/Wentz, as well as Josh McCown in Cleveland during the 2015 season, that he’s capable of doing just that.

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