Mizzou QBs Drew Lock, Jack Lowery and Marvin Zanders
PRE-SEASON MIZZOU FOOTBALL 2016 POSITION PREVIEW: QUARTERBACK
With Fall Camp approaching, let’s take a look at the QB position for Missouri.
It’s my expectation that a look at the QB position for Missouri is primarily, maybe almost entirely, a look at Drew Lock.
Last year, Lock was thrust into a starting role just as the Tigers entered conference play. And although he showed pretty well against South Carolina, it quickly thereafter became evident that the freshman was in over his head. He wasn’t ready, and the offensive personnel around him certainly didn’t perform well enough to support a not-ready freshman QB. He took a beating, and lost confidence, although he demonstrated the requisite physical toughness. He played under duress, which too often included facing third-and-long absent a single reliable receiver, and which led to an erosion of his throwing mechanics.
This spring, the reports on the sophomore were mostly positive. He admitted that he wasn’t ready last year, which offers some insight into his character and mental toughness. And, he began receiving instruction on how to play QB under a legitimate QB coach. He's learning to read defenses and to more quickly advance through his progressions. He’s regained his confidence, and his footwork and throwing mechanics were restored, along with his accuracy.
This summer, Lock has worked with his receivers on their timing, among other facets of their passing game.
So, the Tigers enter Fall Camp with Lock firmly entrenched as the starter. Will this be the year that Lock begins to establish himself as the QB that many of us believe he can become?
Here’s kind of what I think the Depth Chart, if we get to see one, will look like at QB to begin Fall Camp:
3 Drew Lock 6’4” 220 (So)
1 Marvin Zanders 6’2” 195 (So)
7 Jack Lowary 6’4” 215 (So)
13 Micah Wilson 6’3” 205 (F)
8 Hayden Rymer 6’2” 212 (F)
? Evan Johnson 6’2” 190 (F)
From what I can tell, there will be a close competition during Fall Camp for the back-up QB position.
Entering Fall Camp, I expect that Marvin Zanders will be listed as the #2 QB. We all know that Zanders is Missouri's most athletic QB, and if the job were to be decided on foot-speed, or the ability to run the football, then Zanders would quickly take over the starting job. But since the QB position is about more than running, Zanders will have to demonstrate that he can do more than run. Even if Coach Heupel was of a mind to install packages intent upon utilizing Zanders' running ability, Marvin would still have to demonstrate better decision-making.
Zanders’ primary competition during Fall Camp will come from pocket passer, Jack Lowary. Unlike Zanders, Lowary is not a running QB. But, he does move around well enough within the pocket. He has good size and a big arm, as Coach Heupel has described it, "an elite arm". So, it wouldn't surprise me to see him move up the Depth Chart this Fall.
Could we see Zanders and Lowary being listed as co-#2s?
Hopefully, Fall Camp will provide us with our first look at freshmen QBs Micah Wilson, Hayden Rymer, and possibly Evan Johnson, the latter two of which are walk-ons.