Matthew Judy and Nick Kelly Report from Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Drew Lock watched his phone and waited for a call from a Denver number. He looked back and forth between his phone and the draft clock on his TV. Tick. Tick. Tick. Still no call.
The call never came. With the 41st pick in the NFL draft, the Broncos selected Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner.
“All the emotions ran out of you,” Lock said. “I didn’t think the next team was going to pick a quarterback, so I was ready to walk away.”
But before Lock could move out of the room, Denver traded up 10 spots to the 42nd pick. Moments later, Lock’s phone rang. It was John Elway.
“We’re thrilled that you’re a Bronco,” Elway told him.
With the 42nd pick in the NFL draft, the Broncos selected the senior quarterback from Lee’s Summit.
“All of the emotions came out after that,” Lock said.
“That was one of those top two or three moments of your life where you go, ‘You did it, man. You did it,’” his father, Andy Lock, told the Missourian.
It was a moment the Lock family expected to experience in the green room on Thursday. But by the end of the night and the end of the first round, Lock remained sitting in the back right corner without a team.
Three other quarterbacks went in the first round. First, Kyler Murray to the Cardinals. Then, Daniel Jones sixth to the Giants and Dwayne Haskins 15th to Washington. Some analysts have said Lock’s accuracy is below that of Murray and Haskins. Others have mentioned smaller hands made teams shy away from making Lock a first-round pick.
No matter the reason, he was forced to head back to his hotel in downtown Nashville without an NFL jersey that had his name on the back.
“It was a rough day,” Lock said.
He spent most of the time in between the end of the first round Thursday and the start of the second round Friday with friends and family. He had about 70 in town. Many visited his hotel room and sat and chatted with him. Lock even played some Yahtzee.
Then came time for the start of the second round. Lock decided to watch from his agent’s office with all of the friends and family who stuck around. Three of the five prospects who went undrafted in the first round didn’t return to the green room. Lock had no plans to return to the heart of the draft on Broadway. So he wore a T-shirt and walked downstairs.
“My mom goes, ‘What are you wearing?’” Lock said.
She made him change, so he threw on a gray sport coat. It’s a good thing he did. He and his supporters couldn’t refrain from making a return back to the draft stage once Denver selected him, even if he was wearing Oakland colors. The moment was too special for Lock to not fully enjoy despite disappointment on Day 1.
“It’s something we have been talking about for a long time,” Adams said. “We didn’t know what day it was going to be. We didn’t know what team. We just knew it was going to come.”
And Lock had an inkling it could be Denver that selected him. He visited during the pre-draft process and kept in touch with the Broncos brass throughout. Elway even made a trip to Columbia to watch Lock face Arkansas the day after Thanksgiving.
“That was one of the teams we initially started looking at for sure,” Lock said. “We thought it was a good opportunity for them to pick a quarterback. And then when I got picked by them, getting to learn from Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl winning quarterback. It is going to be awesome.”
Even though Elway called Lock Flacco’s understudy in a conversation with Broncos TV, Elway mirrored Lock’s sentiment.
“We’re very fortunate,” Elway said. “We didn’t think he would fall nearly this far.”
Neither did Lock nor his family. But by the time they all flooded out of his agent’s building and hopped on a white bus that took them to the draft, it didn’t matter. As Lock and more than 30 of his friends and family members hopped on golf carts to take them to the draft stage, not a single Thursday frown remained.
“The sun came up today,” Lock said, “and I’m a Denver Bronco.”
Supervising editor is Eric Lee.