Kirby Smart appears to have a lot of respect for Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. He can hurt a defense and quickly. But, just how good is he? Smart thinks he’s in a league of his own.
“I don’t know if his arm can get any stronger. He can make every throw. He threw the ball outside of the stadium last year on us,” Smart stated. “I think the biggest thing is his maturity level, his confidence. He’s seen the coverages. He’s seen the checks. He understands where he wants to go with the ball. He’s got as fast of release as I’ve ever seen. He can get the ball out so quick, and he does such a good job of keying your defenders and knowing where to go with the ball.
Smart comments that Locke’s maturity improved since he first got to Missouri. Granted he has a resume that makes him look like he has ice in his veins. Since becoming the starter, Locke played at West Virginia, LSU, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Granted he didn’t win one of those games, but he has the experience to play in big games and rough environments.
“You can tell they really work hard on it, and I think he’s just more mature. I think anytime you play in this conference, and you go to the venues he’s gone to have three years under your belt or being in your third year, it makes it a lot more comforting,” Smart comments.
During his career at Missouri, when the Tigers played the Bulldogs, Lock put up numbers. Freshman year he went 11-26 for 143 yards. Sophomore year Lock went 23-38 for 376 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. Last year he went 15-25 for 253 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Smart commented he’s good with his feet too. Last year he carried the ball 44 times for 11 yards and one touchdown. Regardless if he throws it or runs it, Smart knows he is an athlete.
“He throws the ball with purpose. And he puts them in the right play a lot, and he’s a really good athlete. The guy takes off running on his some zone reads, he keeps the ball, and he exposes people. He runs for 20 and 30 when he takes off and does it. He just doesn’t do it very often,” Smart says. “You can tell he’s a good athlete. So I got a lot of respect for him, and you can tell the way he runs and scrambles and throws the ball he’s a competitor.”
Smart compared him to a few NFL names and commented that he’s one of the better ones and stands in a league of his own.
‘’You know, I hate to compare guys like that,” Smart states. “I mean, his arm strength is Stafford-like. Cutler. Those are the guys I’ve coached against that were elite arm talent like him. He’s a really good athlete as well. He’s one of the better ones. Hard to compare him to somebody. He’s in a league of his own.’’