DFW 2016 ROOKIE PROFILE: QB Paxton Lynch

QB Paxton Lynch – Junior / 6-7 / 192 – MEMPHIS

  • Has the build to survive life as a QB in the NFL, with room to add bulk
  • Displays excellent footwork in the pocket and rarely gets his feet out of throwing position
  • Athletic and can make plays as a runner, but prefers to maintain a pass-first mentality when escaping the pocket
  • Has a very quick release and is accurate with his throws (62.9% completion percentage in college)
  • Possesses enough arm strength to fit passes into tight windows and drive the ball down the field
  • Excels at reading the field and avoiding being baited by opposing CBs
  • Displays a high football IQ and has demonstrated leadership abilities on the field
  • Struggles with accuracy when on the move and tends to rely too much on his arm strength as opposed to good fundamentals
  • Needs to learn to use his eyes to move defenders to create better throwing lanes
  • Needs work on ball placement, including sideline throws and dropping passes over inside LBs
  • Despite his mobility, still takes sacks he shouldn’t, possibly due to a need to improve his internal clock
  • Took the majority of his snaps from shotgun, so he will need to learn how to operate from under center to be fully successful in the NFL
  • Tied the FBS record for most TD passes in a half (7) against SMU on November 28, 2015
  • Owns Memphis school records for passing yards in a season (3,776) and passing TDs in a season (28)
  • COMBINE UPDATE: Lynch’s Combine performances didn’t close the gap on the perceived top two QBs in this draft (Wentz and Goff), but they didn’t create a larger one either. Lynch tied for the top spot among QBs in the Vertical Jump (36 inches) and tied for second in the Broad Jump (9’10”), but struggled in the Three-Cone Drill (7.14 seconds, eighth among QBs) and the Forty (4.86 seconds, next to last among QBs). During the throwing session, Lynch missed on a couple throws but most were thrown with good velocity and accuracy. Lynch admitted it was an up-and-down week, saying, “I feel like I performed all right. I know my times were a little off. A couple of those throws were a little off, too, throwing to those guys. I wanted to be perfect.” Lynch also registered 59 MPH on the radar gun at the Combine, the most of any quarterback at the Combine. Lynch looks like he’ll be the third QB selected, possibly in the late-first round or early second.
  • NFL DRAFT SELECTION: 1st Round (1.26), Denver Broncos
  • 2016 OUTLOOK: Denver has had a poor history of drafting first-round QBs, starting with Tommy Maddox in 1992, then Jay Cutler in 2006, followed by Tim Tebow in 2010 and now Paxton Lynch in 2016.  Granted, the first three all had a modicum of success, but only Cutler has been close to worth a first round pick.  Has Denver changed course with Lynch?  Lynch possesses elite arm strength and good athletic ability, but was strictly a shotgun-style QB at Memphis and has work to do to become a quality NFL starter.  Mark Sanchez was signed in the offseason presumably to bridge the gap from Manning/Osweiler to Lynch, but thumb surgery will sideline Sanchez until June, giving Lynch extra reps with his new team.  Elway was recently quoted as saying Lynch will be ready to start “quicker” than some think, but a year or two of seasoning would benefit the young QB greatly.  There is a chance Lynch supplants Sanchez this year, but if Sanchez can be just good enough to keep the team in contention it’s unlikely he turns the reins over this season.  Lynch steps into a good situation with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders entrenched at WR and C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker at RB.  Lynch should become a quality fantasy starter by 2018 and is worth drafting and holding for his upside until he starts.