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Take Two: Will Drew Lock be the first QB in next year's NFL Draft?

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

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Drew Lock (AP Images)

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.

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THE STORYLINE

Leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, the quarterback picture was pretty clear. Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen were going to be first-round picks. There was some debate over Lamar Jackson but many believed, especially as draft night drew closer, that he was a first-rounder, too.

Next year’s quarterback draft class is riddled more with questions than answers. Maybe that’s because the draft is almost a year away and the season has not even been played yet, but many believe the 2019 quarterback crop will be far less attractive than this previous group and no clear quarterback has emerged as the frontrunner.

Should Missouri’s Drew Lock be that guy? The former four-star from Lee’s Summit, Mo., completed about 58 percent of his passes last season for 3,964 yards with 44 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. That’s only 663 passing yards fewer than Mayfield, who went No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns, with one more touchdown pass.

This upcoming season will be important for Lock, especially since the Tigers looked woeful at times last year before a late-season surge that put Missouri into the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl.

Lock had strong performances in blowout wins over Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt and he put up big numbers against Arkansas. But he and the offense looked pedestrian in losses to South Carolina, Purdue and Auburn and Lock was OK in the bowl loss to Texas.

Against teams with hardly a pulse (Missouri State, Idaho and UConn), Lock put up huge numbers - posting a combined 1,365 yards and 18 touchdowns in those three blowout wins.

So is Lock worthy of being the No. 1 quarterback taken in next year’s NFL Draft in a murky pool that also includes Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson, West Virginia’s Will Grier, NC State’s Ryan Finley, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and maybe even Michigan’s Shea Patterson? How much will this season’s performance matter in terms of draft position?

FIRST TAKE: GABE DeARMOND, POWERMIZZOU.COM

“It’s fair to have Lock as the first QB taken next year right now. He’s got all the tools. That said, he’ll have to come through and deliver on what’s expected in his senior season. He has everything the NFL looks for, but has never led a team that has had a really good season. There are plenty of guys who have gone high in the draft without being big winners in college, but the final piece of the puzzle for him would be showing that he can lead a team that exceeds expectations.”

SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“I like Drew Lock a lot. Jarrett Stidham, Clayton Thorson, there are guys out there who will continue to improve and make their names known more. There will be at least two or three quarterbacks taken in the first round next year.

“We don’t know who they are. A lot of people originally thought Lock was a system quarterback, too tall and skinny, not filled out enough, but he set SEC records last year and he’s the type of guy who is a very good leader who plays on a bad football team. He’s going to be used to having to deal with that adversity when he gets picked high.”