Rookie Scouting Portfolio author David Igono showcases 2019 NFL Draft prospect, Missouri quarterback Drew Lock’s poise in the pocket.
“Posture is what you have and poise is where you put it.”
I have yet to find the originator of this quote, although I have a hunch. In my mind it’s what Mr. Miyagi’s sensei told him years before he condensed it down to “wax on, wax off” for Daniel in The Karate Kid.
If ever there was a sentence that captured the essence of quarterback play in the pocket this is it. Most quarterback prospects can make their drops and avoid imminent pressure in the pocket, read “posture”. Only a handful can count the costs of taking punishment for their willingness to make the next read, or poise.
A term in football that can lose its true meaning is the phrase “pocket presence”. Pocket presence is often defined as avoiding pressure or buying time to make an advantageous read. Rarely do we talk about the nuance of pocket presence being a function of a quarterback accurately feeling the pressure around him and being serene enough to make a throw in spite of his immediate surroundings. Often times pocket presence can boil down to simply choosing to hang in there a beat longer, even if that means taking a vicious hit.
Drew Lock of Missouri employs good habits in the pocket. He has clean footwork due to the fact that he limits how far he drifts at the top of his drop and he maintains a solid base to throw from. Those two factors would be nominal if Lock wasn’t tough. His ability to absorb the contact and still be accurate with this deep ball is noteworthy.
Pressure in close quarters in the pocket is normal. Poise in the pocket is leveraging your awareness of the pressure around you to make a sound decision. Lock isn’t averse to pressure but he also possesses adequate physical and mental resources to make him an intriguing prospect going forward.
David Igono is a former defensive back who played at West Virginia University and a couple of seasons of arena football. Follow him at @d1gono.
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