Mr. Heisman Candidate.
I think all of us can pretty much say now that Drew Lock is no longer a Heisman candidate. He has become a victim of the pattern that has been talked to death with Lock, that he plays phenomenally against sub-par teams... only.
As a reference to that, lets look at his first three games of the season.
UT-Martin: 19/25 for 289 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Wyoming: 33/45 for 398 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Purdue: 26/43 for 375 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
As you can see, against mediocre competition, he does play like a Heisman candidate. But when he plays against competition that is competent…not so much.
Georgia: 23/48, 221 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
South Carolina: 17/36, 204 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
Alabama: 13/26, 142 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
The evidence is pretty stark. The narrative is true. The only game when he achieved a 50% completion percentage was against Alabama. Over the last three games, Lock has thrown one touchdown, and five interceptions. Not only will that knock you out of the Heisman running, on some teams, that will knock you out of the starting lineup.
Of course playing good teams is harder than playing bad teams, and statistics will reflect that. But the thing that concerns me is that the last three games are the games where you're supposed to “prove” that you are a top quarterback in college, but Lock just hasn't done that.
Now to his credit, he hasn't had Emanuel Hall or Nate Brown the last three games. But for someone that is a potential NFL quarterback, that is not really much of an excuse. If you have watched Lock since 2015, this is unfortunately a common trend. He has repeatedly played like hot dog water against even decent competition. Now people will bring up what he did last year in the last six games and the fact that he threw 44 touchdowns.
While yes he did play great against Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas, I think we can all agree none of them were any good last year. Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas all fired their coaches last year. Also I feel like, as a Senior, there are too many times, in too many games where we're still asking “Why did he throw that ball?”
It's pretty obvious that Lock doesn't make the greatest decisions in the world. Now another quarterback that is considered to be a tad better than Lock is Justin Herbert from Oregon. These were his stats against Washington on Saturday.
Washington: 18/32, 202 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
I couldn't even imagine how Lock would play against a team like Washington. Now for all the people that have the same wild opinion as me (we should start giving backups meaningful playing time considering how bad Lock has been) here's a look at who those backups are and what we know about them.
In Wilson’s senior season at Lincoln Christian:
3,730 yards passing, 198/279, 56 TDs, 2 INTs
Micah Wilson, in my opinion has loads of potential and I really think he needs to start getting a little playing time. Now, he is the third string quarterback but my favorite thing about him is that the kid can run. He's a dual threat quarterback and it is always nice having a quarterback that can run and pass. Micah is great in the short and medium passing game, but not really not known for his deep ball. He may not have the arm talent Lock has, but he definitely has potential.
In Powell’s senior season at Fayetteville HS:
3,473 yards passing, 44 TDs, 7 INTs
He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in his senior season as well as, the Hooten’s Offensive Football Player of the Year. Taylor Powell has good arm talent and is pretty athletic as well.
Lindsey Scott Jr:
In Scott's year with East Mississippi CC:
3,481 yards passing, 258/398, 29 TDs, 11 INTs
This guy once looked to be a phenom. Was a great quarterback in high school, but later had a disappointing year at LSU. He later made a pit stop at JuCo Eastern Mississippi Aka “last chance U”. The dude has lots of potential but there's not a lot that indicates that he is special.
Drew Lock is a bonafide star and will play on Sundays. But he makes enough mistakes to warrant at least splitting some time occasionally with the guys who may replace him next year. They need the action as well.