Drew Lock, who avoided a holdout by signing his rookie contract with the Broncos on Thursday, got a blunt welcome to the NFL the next day with some frank words from coach Vic Fangio.
Selected 42nd overall by Denver in the NFL Draft, Lock is projected as the team’s quarterback of the future. But after two days of training camp, Fangio said the Missouri product is definitely a work in progress.
“I don’t think he’s far along as far as being as NFL-ready a quarterback as he could’ve been. … He’s not a quarterback yet,” Fangio said (via the NFL Network). “He’s a hard-throwing pitcher that doesn’t know how to pitch yet. The faster he gets that, the better off he’ll be and we’ll be.”
The expected plan is for Lock to back up veteran Joe Flacco to start the season. The Broncos acquired the former Super Bowl MVP in a trade with the Ravens in February. That will give Lock a chance to improve his game without the pressure of learning on the job.
Fangio said Lock’s mechanics need work.
“I think a quarterback that can change his arm angles is a position when it’s needed,” Fangio said. “You don’t want to do it when you don’t have to do it. Obviously if someone’s in my face and I have to do it, that’s good to have that talent. But if I’m strong in the pocket and there’s nothing, I want to throw over the top, nice and strong.
“I don’t want to rely on side-arms. It’s good that he can do that, but he needs to use that when he needs to and not when he doesn’t need to. His college offense really had no carryover to pro offenses. He was under duress a lot in college, so a lot of his plays he was running around.”
Meanwhile, Flacco, 34, has earned rave reviews after two days of camp.
“I see a guy who hasn’t lost any skills,” Fangio told reporters Friday. “He has a big arm, but he throws a ball that’s very catchable. When he has to put some steam on it, he can do that too. I see a guy who is happy to be here. He hasn’t lost his love for the game.”