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Drew Lock Heisman Watch: Tracking the Missouri QB’s 2018 season

Drew Lock had an impressive, efficient Week 1. How does that compare to recent Heisman winners?

drew lock-heisman watch-2018
Lock had an impressive Week 1, but he has some statistical work to do to keep up in the 2018 Heisman race.
Derrick Forsythe/Rock M Nation

Drew Lock’s first performance of the 2018 season didn’t diminish his chances in the on-going Heisman race.

Lock completed 19 of 25 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns; he added five yards on one rushing attempt. While the performance was by no means gaudy, Lock looked poised, calm and confident, rarely forcing throws while showing the arm strength that makes him a projected first-round NFL draft pick.

Case in point:

Throughout the start of the 2018 season, Rock M Nation will track Lock’s statistical progress toward an early December invitation to New York City. We’ll keep the Heisman Watch going until it’s clear that Lock is no longer in the conversation, either because of a lack of statistical success or team success.

We’ll also track the notable stat lines each week for fellow Heisman contenders.

First, the historical look. We’re taking a look at the last five Heisman winners week-by-week performances, and finding how much of their season total in yards and touchdowns they compiled each week.

Heisman Watch

Year Player Record through 2 games Stat line through 2 games % of season yards % of season TDs
Year Player Record through 2 games Stat line through 2 games % of season yards % of season TDs
2013 Jameis Winston 2-0 40-45, 570 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT; 12 carries, 33 yards, 2 TDs 14.10% 18.20%
2014 Marcus Mariota 2-0 31-48, 585 yards, 6 TDs; 15 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD 12.80% 12.30%
2015 Derrick Henry 2-0 31 carries, 243 yards, 6 TDs; 2 catches, 12 yards 11.50% 21.40%
2016 Lamar Jackson 2-0 37-62, 697 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 32 carries, 318 yards, 6 TDs 19.80% 25.50%
2017 Baker Mayfield 2-0 46-55, 715 yards, 6 TDs; 702 yards total offense 14.30% 12.50%
Drew Lock Heisman Watch: Historical Comparisons

If Lock’s Season 1 stats prove to be the same pace as those five quarterbacks, he’ll finish the season with just over 4,000 total yards and 39 touchdowns. Those numbers without context should easily keep him in the conversation for the Heisman — especially if he continues the zero-turnover-per-game pace he began against UT-Martin.

Is that likely? Of course not. But a 4,000-yard passing season with around 40 passing touchdowns would be a hell of an encore to his 2017 campaign.

As far as fellow Heisman contenders for 2018 go, Will Grier is clearly the statistical front-runner after Week 1. Here’s a look at some other top performers (QBs and RBs only) from Week 1:

Notable Week 2 Stat Lines

Player Opponent Through 2 weeks Projected total yards Projected total TDs
Player Opponent Through 2 weeks Projected total yards Projected total TDs
Drew Lock Wyoming (W) 52-70, 687 yards, 8 TDs, 0 INT; 743 total yards, 9 TDs 5,196 50
Will Grier Youngston State (W) 46-60, 761 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT; 758 total yards 5,227 50
Tua Tagovailoa Arkansas State (W) 25-35, 455 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT; 501 total yards, 7 TDs 3,455 39
Dwayne Haskins Rutgers (W) 42-53, 546 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT; 561 total yards 3,869 50
Steven Montez Nebraska (W) 55-75, 689 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 716 total yards, 8 TDs 4,938 44
Jordan Ta'amu SIU (W) 45-65, 784 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INT; 789 total yards 5,441 39
Scottie Phillips SIU (W) 31 carries, 311 yards, 4 TDs; 315 total yards 2,172 22
Johnathan Taylor New Mexico (W) 51 carries, 398 yards, 5 TDs 2,745 28
Kylin Hill Kansas State (W) 26 carries, 261 yards, 3 TDs; 323 total yards, 5 TDs 2,228 28
Through 2 weeks

Based on those projections, here’s the very unofficial Week 1 Heisman rankings, knowing full well that there are games left to play on Sunday night and Monday:

Week 1 Heisman rankings

  1. Will Grier, West Virginia — Best mix of Heisman criteria (QB, Power 5 team, notable win, already in Heisman race) and stat line.
  2. Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M — A “name” school and, at this pace, Williams would set the single-season rushing record. Very unlikely he keeps that up, but a name to watch.
  3. Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State — Similar reasons as Grier. Impressive stat line, big projections according to our (un-scientific) formula.

Just in case any UCF fans read this, McKenzie Milton isn’t on these rankings because a non-Power 5 player has not won a Heisman in nearly 30 years (Ty Detmer, 1990, and BYU is an Independent).