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Another hit for Broncos

Back in 2019, the Broncos thought they'd secured the right tackle position for years to come when they signed JaWuan James from Miami. Not so much: James played in only 3 games that season before getting hurt, opted out of 2020, and will now miss most (probably all) of 2021 after tearing his Achilles.

Denver, in fact, is one of four teams paying three linemen contracts averaging over $10 million a year, but the others (Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Dallas) have gotten much better return on their investments. The Broncos are set at left tackle with Garett Bolles, but Graham Glasgow hasn't been as good, and now James will be a no-show again. Disappointing.

On behalf of this line, it's clearly doing something right. Drew Lock hasn't been a success, but at least he hasn't been getting buried. He's been sacked only 24 times in 18 games the last two seasons. Among quarterbacks to start at least half the time, that's one of the best rates in the league.

Ben Roethlisberger15170.9
Drew Brees25231.1
Drew Lock24181.3
Patrick Mahomes39291.3
Jared Goff45311.5
Tom Brady48321.5
Dak Prescott33211.6
Philip Rivers53321.7
Derek Carr55321.7
Lamar Jackson52301.7
Aaron Rodgers56321.8
Teddy Bridgewater43241.8
Ryan Tannehill55282.0
Josh Allen64322.0
Baker Mayfield66322.1
Jimmy Garoppolo47222.1
Kirk Cousins67312.2
Cam Newton37172.2
Mitchell Trubisky56252.2
Ryan Fitzpatrick54242.3
Matthew Stafford56242.3
Kyler Murray75322.3
Jameis Winston49202.5
Andy Dalton61242.5
Gardner Minshew60232.6
Sam Darnold68252.7
Matt Ryan89312.9
Russell Wilson95323.0
Deshaun Watson93313.0
Dwayne Haskins49163.1
Daniel Jones83273.1
Carson Wentz87283.1
Kyle Allen53173.1

Granted, avoiding sacks is about the only area where Lock can be put into the same sentence as Patrick Mahomes, but it's something.

Now Denver will be scrambling to replace James, but at least they can say they're used to it. They just need to figure out a way to get other positive stuff out of Lock on the field, should he happen to be their 2021 starter. If not it will likely be Teddy Bridgewater (and he, at least, has been better than average in this area too).

--Andy Richardson

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