Drew Lock carries himself as a confident man, but after a lackluster sophomore NFL season that led to questions about whether the Broncos should move on from him as their starting quarterback, it would be easy for that self-assurance to run thin. Having Peyton Manning's blessing should certainly help bolster Lock's belief.
Manning, who led the Broncos to the 2016 Super Bowl, praised Lock in a recent interview, saying he believes in the young quarterback's ability and providing perspective on why Lock struggled in 2020.
Coming from one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, and the second-best in Broncos history behind John Elway, that means a lot. It could also carry some weight as the Broncos decide what to do next at quarterback.
Rumors have circulated that the Broncos could be interested in signing a quarterback in free agency, trading for one or even drafting one with the ninth pick in 2021. They weren't mentioned as a suitor during the Matt Stafford trade negotiations, but that doesn't mean they aren't looking for an upgrade.
Lock was injured against the Steelers in Week 2 and missed three games. He endured highs and lows after returning, throwing four touchdowns against the Panthers and three against the Chargers in wins, but also throwing four interceptions against the Raiders and four combined against the Chiefs and Chargers in narrow losses.
What Manning mentioned about the new coordinator and lack of preparation time because of COVID offseason practice restrictions makes sense. For a second-year quarterback, that practice time is invaluable and can't be made up. But at some point, the Broncos will have to make a decision about Lock. Manning's endorsement should help in the short term, but if Lock can't turn it around in year three, the likelihood of him lasting longer in Denver is not high.