He has a magical arm.
Two years into his college career, shifting past his first read is still an issue.
He could technically end up going pro early.
He really only torched MAC defenses (or worse) last year.
Safe to say, Drew Lock’s career has thus far been every bit as divisive as you would expect considering a) he’s a quarterback, b) he’s a former four-star prospect with an obviously immense ceiling, c) he’s 6-14 as a starter (and therefore Not a Winner).
There is context galore here. He’s only asked to read part of the field most of the time; he’d have won a few more games early in his freshman year had he been asked to start; he ... well ... he really did pad those 2016 stats against EMU and Delaware State.
But short of Heisman contention or a division title, he’s going to remain divisive in 2017. That’s just the way it goes with starting QBs on flawed teams. We neither forgive nor forget.
He’s also going to remain Missouri’s starter, likely for the next two seasons barring injury. And whether it happens sooner (because of injury) or later, Barry Odom and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel have set up quite the order of succession for him.
(As always, former four-star recruits are in bold.)
Assuming Jack Lowary really is a redshirt sophomore as listed — he was listed as a junior last fall, so it’s been a point of confusion for me — then Mizzou has perfectly balanced classes moving forward. Lowary has three years left, Micah Wilson has four, Taylor Powell will almost certainly redshirt this year, James Foster II will have five years starting in 2018. Even if or when someone transfers, there’s still a pretty smooth balance there.
There are also virtually no knowns whatsoever. Heupel is regarded as a strong quarterbacks coach; at Oklahoma, he helped the Sooners win a Big 12 title in 2006 with QB-turned-WR-turned-QB Paul Thompson behind center, and he was an excellent mentor while Sam Bradford and Landry Jones were throwing for approximately 14,000,000 yards in Norman. Plus, lord knows Lock made significant progress last season, Delaware State or no Delaware State.
Still, per the 247Sports Composite, Bradford, Jones, and Lock were all four-star prospects. Granted, Utah State’s Kent Myers showed intriguing progress in 2015, Heupel’s lone season in Logan, but for the most part he has helped signal callers reach their projected ceilings, not necessarily exceed them.
(Okay, fine, Bradford exceeded his. He also had Jermaine Gresham, Malcolm Kelly, Juaquin Iglesias, Ryan Broyles, etc., at his disposal, not to mention offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson at the peak of his play-calling powers.)
If Lock goes down, Missouri will be relying on either a no-star QB (Lowary) or a mid-three-star guy (Micah Wilson, Taylor Powell). Lowary looked great in the small-sample spring game, and maybe if the run game is clicking, QB doesn’t matter all that much. Plus, there are options — this isn’t like 2009, when Mizzou had to choose between a one-legged, inaccurate Blaine Gabbert and a former walk-on backup (Jimmy Costello). Choosing between three scholarship guys (four, including Foster in 2018) increases the odds of one of them breaking out.
Still, as with the running back position, the ceiling appears to get quite a bit lower after the starter. That’s not exactly abnormal in college football, but it could still become an obvious concern.
Hopefully we don’t learn too much about the backups between now and the end of 2018. We’ll worry about this in more detail then. Deal?