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Broncos 'like' QB Drew Lock, will still 'look at position'

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Broncos 'like' QB Drew Lock, will still 'look at position'
Denver Broncos general manager George Paton would not commit to quarterback Drew Lock (pictured) as the team's Week 1 starter in 2021. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

April 23 (UPI) -- The Denver Broncos "like" Drew Lock, but will still look at options for a quarterback through free agency, trades and the 2021 NFL Draft, general manager George Paton told reporters.

Paton made the comments Thursday during a news conference. Lock joined the team as a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He started 13 games last season and five games in his rookie campaign.

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"We do like Drew Lock," Paton told reporters. "What we don't want to do is force it [and] overpay a guy to come in and maybe he's not as good as the guy we have. And maybe he's not good enough to compete. We want to get the right guy, and we still have time.

"There's a trade market. You have the draft. The landscape may change after the draft. A team drafts one, maybe that quarterback's on the market. We're going to be patient and not force it. But we do realize we want competition, and I've said that since I've gotten here. That hasn't changed."

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Lock completed 57.3% of his throws for 2,933 yards, 16 scores and a league-high 15 interceptions in 2020. He posted a 4-9 record as a starter in 2020 and is 8-10 as a starter through two seasons.

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Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco started eight games for the Broncos in 2019, but left the team in free agency last off-season. The Broncos current backups are Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel.

The Broncos own the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but several teams ahead of them are expected to select a quarterback. They likely would need to trade up in the draft order to acquire one of the top quarterback prospects.

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Paton said the Broncos haven't made any trade calls to other teams to move up, but have "received calls" to move back in the draft order.

He said five quarterbacks could be selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Paton would not commit to Lock as the team's Week 1 starter.

"We're really high on Drew," Paton said. "I like seeing Drew here every morning when I come in. He's working hard. He's trending in the right direction. As you know, he has a lot of talent. I think he's becoming a better pro.

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"We're going to still look at the quarterback position. I've said since I got here, we want to bring in competition. That's the goal, and we plan on doing that."

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The 2021 NFL Draft is from April 29 to May 1 in Cleveland.

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