Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis – 2016

Broncos, Round 1. He was a junior who declared early for the 2016 NFL draft.

Postseason Events: NFL Combine.

Positives: Though he was only a junior, he had nearly 40 games worth of experience in college as a quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger size, with a 6’7″ height and a proportional build. Great hand size. Above-average accuracy on the run to the left or right. Throws a catchable intermediate pass. Okay accuracy on passes down the sideline. Very good arm strength and has the velocity to fit the ball through tight windows. Stands very tall in the pocket. Keeps his eyes downfield on the run. Strong enough to be able to get rid of the ball even when he is in the grasp of defenders. Has above-average speed and athleticism for the size, and enough escapability and strength to avoid tacklers. Runs low in short-yardage and goal-line situations despite his height and generates good power through defenders for extra yards. Though his track speed is below average for the position, it is good for his size. Good vertical leap and overall lower-body explosiveness in Combine drills. Adequate ability to change directions with burst in Combine drills. Fair balance after contact. Above-average play fakes.

Negatives: He ran a spread offense in college, so his learning curve might be steeper in the NFL. Consistently below-average timing on crossing patterns, and will throw the ball behind receivers often. Below-average deep accuracy and inconsistent intermediate accuracy. Doesn’t see the field well and will miss obviously open receivers over the middle of the field. Below-average decisions on the run, and will often just throw the ball up for grabs, and needs to learn to just throw the ball away. Will force the ball into coverage in the red zone and just consistently chuck the ball up under pressure in the rest of the field. Has a long, three-quarter delivery. Has a hard time throwing with touch, and his trajectory always seems to come out flat and fast. Isn’t very quick going side to side, lacking elusiveness in the open field and having some trouble side-stepping defenders rushing up the middle. Not a willing blocker on outside runs. Below-average ball security on the run, and will hold it in one hand. Tore ACL in high school senior season and missed half of season. Slightly below-average track speed for the position.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 1. I would probably rate him as a second- or third-round pick myself, but I’ve heard enough people talking about him going in Round 1 – potentially even as the first quarterback taken. Though I like his size, arm talent, and surprising athleticism, he lacks the accuracy and decision-making I would like in a first round quarterback. He should be at least an adequate NFL starter or a solid backup.

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