University of Missouri

How quarterback Drew Lock helped more than himself at Missouri football’s pro day

Mizzou QB Drew Lock taking it one throw at a time at NFL Scouting Combine

Missouri Tigers quarterback Drew Lock talks about the NFL Draft process on Friday, March 2, 2019 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
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Missouri Tigers quarterback Drew Lock talks about the NFL Draft process on Friday, March 2, 2019 at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Drew Lock knows how to draw a crowd.

After a ghostly crowd at Missouri’s pro day in 2018, the Devine Pavilion was on destination spot for NFL general managers and scouts on Thursday as all 32 teams had a presence in Columbia.

He made the trip worth it, too.

Lock made throws from all over the field, connecting with former teammates Emanuel Hall and Damarea Crockett, and only threw a handful of incompletions. The 6-foot-4 quarterback showed off his trademark deep ball, which Hall helped make famous during their MU careers.

Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Colts general manager Chris Ballard were a few of the big names to take in Lock’s performance. A source told The Star that Lock met on Wednesday night with the Dolphins and will dine with the Giants on Thursday. He’s also expected to visit Denver next week.

While Lock, a Lee’s Summit native, has all but certified himself as a first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft, his pro day maybe had a bigger impact on his former teammates’ futures.

Missouri’s pro day in 2018 didn’t have an NFL head coach or general manager attend, as the Tigers only had one sure-fire NFL prospect in wideout J’Mon Moore. He was taken by the Green Packers in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. But Lock’s pro day brought an NFL Network and ESPN crew in addition to the numerous scouts, which was big for Crockett and Hall.

Crockett abruptly declared for the draft in January, forgoing his final year of eligibility, while Hall had a strong combine despite being unable to perform in field drills. Both looked good catching passes from Lock, while word around the facility was that Crockett ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash.

Ball security was the lone issue surrounding Hall as he was able to run a 4.39 40 at the combine despite an injured groin. He could see himself taken as high as the second round after making a few impressive catches from Lock.

Crockett can use some help as he faces an uphill battle after declaring in a deep class for running backs. He found himself surrounded by pro scouts at the end of the day. Both Hall and Crockett didn’t meet with reporters on Thursday.

Lock said he was happy for his former teammates and he tried to hold out from throwing as long as he could, so scouts could watch the other players while they waited for Lock.

“It was big today for having all those teams here,” Lock said. “Being able to have guys workout and I throw last. It was good for this place.”

Missouri also saw some former players make an appearance. Chiefs center Mitch Morse was in attendance to cheer on lineman Paul Adams and Lock among others. He recently signed with the Buffalo Bills.

“It speaks to the kind of person he is,” Adams said of Morse’s appearance.

Moore was Missouri’s lone invite to the combine last year and coach Barry Odom expressed disappointment that the program couldn’t get more players to one of the NFL’s premier scouting events. Missouri had six in Indianapolis a few weeks ago, the second-most in program history. Odom was tough to track down on Thursday as NFL personnel were pulling him in different directions to get his take on a player.

Odom knows how significant Thursday was for his program and said the new objective is to make it routine.

“It’s what really good programs do,” Odom said. “Our pro day is now a marquee event for our campus and university. Our challenge now is to continue that trend.”

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.