After an impressive rookie season and an offseason that saw the Broncos surround Drew Lock with talent, the hype around Denver’s second-year quarterback is building and with good reason.

On Thursday, Adam Schein of included Lock on his list of nine dark horse candidates for the league’s MVP award this season.

”Remember when the rookie outdueled Deshaun Watson in a 38-24 win at Houston,” Schein wrote. “Yep, that happened, with Lock completing 22 of his 27 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns (against one pick).”

There is reason to believe that 2020 could be Lock’s year to win the coveted prize. Each of the last two winners, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, were second-year gunslingers, as was Carson Wentz when he was the leader in the clubhouse for the award in 2017 before a torn ACL cut his season short.

“John Elway has provided his second-year quarterback with a bunch of new toys this offseason,” Schein continued. “After adding RB Melvin Gordon in free agency, the Broncos GM stole WR Jerry Jeudy at No. 15 and then astutely plucked speed merchant KJ Hamler in Round 2. In the middle rounds, Denver grabbed a plug-and-play center (Lloyd Cushenberry) and Lock’s old college tight end (Albert Okwuegbunam). As an organization, this is what you do when you have a young quarterback you believe in: You fully support him.”

It would be hard not to get fully behind a player with so much moxie and confidence, not just among his teammates but at the podium as well.

”Every time Lock speaks, I come away impressed,” concluded Schein. “I think the former second-rounder could enjoy a fantastic sophomore campaign. And I can’t wait to watch this offense work.”