Following the unprecedented and unpredictable combination of a nationally televised team protest and a Maty Mauk doing his best Tony Montana impression, Lock was thrown to the SEC wolves. With the baby face of Justin Bieber and the on-the-job experience level of Anthony Scaramucci, the freshman Lock was asked to become the Tigers QB1. Like the rest of that 2015 squad, Lock struggled.
Soon after the season ended, Lock and his Tigers endured a coaching shake-up and would be asked to learn an entirely new offense. He made tremendous strides in 2016, racking up 3,399 yards passing, and 23 touchdown, but again struggled against SEC powers like LSU and Florida. He kept his composure when receiver after receiver dropped well-placed passes and when the Ish Witter-led running attack was stopped at the line of scrimmage.
Criticism of Lock began to emerge after that frustrating 2016 season, with some Tiger fans asking if Lock was overhyped and if he had the ability to see both sides of the field when running an offense. Those skeptics can be forgiven their pessimism after enduring a brutal 4-8 campaign but what they miss is both how young Lock still was and how well he played despite the tremendous adversity that has been thrown at him.
Now, with more locker room stability and another year of familiarity with his coaches and his offense, expect 2017 to be the year of Drew Lock. On top of all this, Lock will have more weapons at his disposal. His primary target has been J’Mon Moore, but as we all know, but Moore is no longer Lock’s only option. Young receivers Johnathan Johnson and Dimetrios Mason are poised to have breakout seasons and help spread the field as well. Throw in a full stable of talented tight ends, and watch out! We’re not saying he’s going to catch or break all of Chase Daniel’s Tiger records, but we are saying that he is going to pass the 4,000 yard mark in passing and 40 aerial touchdowns isn’t out of the question.
Drew Lock is a special talent. He’s never had the opportunity to put that talent on full display and if all goes well in 2017, and we’re optimistic it might, we are going to be witness to some truly glorious bombing runs in Faurot Field.