ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — John Elway got the quarterback he wanted all along, but without the pressure that would have come with Drew Lock being a first-round pick.
“I’m hoping it allows us to let him grow, and the expectations are not as high as they would be with a top-10 pick,” Elway said Friday night after selecting Missouri’s powerful but unpolished passer in the second round of the NFL draft.
Many projections had Lock going to Denver with the 10th overall selection in Round 1, but Elway traded down, taking Iowa tight end Noah Fant at No. 20 and obtaining an extra second-rounder from Pittsburgh in the process.
He used that extra selection in a deal with Cincinnati to move up Friday and draft Lock one spot after selecting Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner, a Colorado native who is expected to start immediately at right guard.
In the third round, he added Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, whom he hopes can push the pocket from the inside, making edge rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, the league’s top pass-rushing duo, even more effective.
Elway said he traded up to No. 42 to grab Lock because he was concerned the Dolphins or the even division-rival Raiders would select him.
“We’re very fortunate. We didn’t think he would fall nearly this far,” Elway said. “Right now, we’ve got a starting quarterback in Joe Flacco, so he’ll be an understudy .”
With Lock not coming in to compete for the starting job, the Broncos hope to avoid the quarterback drama that dominated the organization for two years after Elway drafted notable first-round bust Paxton Lynch in 2016.
“We’re hoping that Drew is the future but Joe is the starter,” Elway said. “And we kind of look at it like the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers type of situation. He’s going to have time to sit and watch Joe and take his time and learn and continue to get better.”
Lock ran the spread offense in college and needs to learn how to play under center like Flacco’s done his whole career, while improving his technique to become more accurate, Elway said.
“We believe he’s got a ton of talent,” Elway said, “but he’s got a lot to work on.”
Lock said he’s ready to sit and wait, watch and learn.
“Joe is a great quarterback. Obviously, he’s won a lot of football games and he’s won a Super Bowl,” Lock said. “I couldn’t be more excited to be able to go in there and learn from a guy like that … just be the best teammate I can be right off the bat.”
Sliding into the second round, however, brings more motivation into the mix for Lock, who watched fellow QBs Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins go in the first round.
“It certainly does,” Lock said. “I know the kind of player I am. I know the kind of player I’m going to be. This adds a little chip to the shoulder bigger than the one that’s already on there.”
Lock was among the two dozen prospects invited to the draft in Nashville, and about an hour after Elway drafted him, he was brought out onto the stage to get the traditional hug and handshake from the commissioner.
Risner also had high hopes of getting drafted in Round 1, but he couldn’t have been happier to get a call from the Broncos while his family was gathered in downtown Denver, about an hour south of his hometown of Wiggins, Colorado.
“Of course, everyone wants to go in the first round,” Risner said, but he figured landing his dream destination more than made up for it.
He recalled playing at the Broncos’ stadium in high school.
“I remember looking at the field and I told myself the next time I was at the field I was going to be playing for the Broncos,” Risner recounted.
NO TRADE: For the second straight day, Elway said he didn’t field any serious offers for cornerback Chris Harris Jr ., who issued a pay-me-or-trade-me request this week. Elway said he still plans to address Harris’ desire for a pay raise after the draft. Harris, 30, is due $7.8 million in 2019, and he wants about $15 million a year.
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