Paxton Lynch was the 26th overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, and, given the Broncos’ depth chart at quarterback, he has a pretty solid chance of starting next season.
That may or may not be a good thing.
“From a fundamental standpoint, there’s some things that Paxton Lynch does that worry me,” former first-round pick and current NFL analyst Brady Quinn said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “One, it’s with his footwork. He doesn’t always address his throws, meaning getting his whole body aligned to make the throw.”
Tiki Barber wondered if part of that has to do with Lynch’s size. After all, he’s 6-7, 244 pounds, and has a strong arm.
“He’s got such a strong arm, that’s part of it,” Quinn said, “(but) his release is long, too. I think if he actually would address throws in a more proper, fundamental manner, I think that would speed up his throwing motion and all that. There’s also the mental side of it. He’ll make some decisions where he’s throwing into coverages and you’re saying, ‘No, bro, that’s not where that football should be going. You want to work the other concept or the other side.’ So his decision-making kind of baffled me a little bit.”
So did his reluctance to throw the deep ball. In fact, Lynch threw just three 40+ yard passes in college. He completed two of them, but three deep balls in three years isn’t many.
“We all know that’s the NFL game,” Quinn said. “You got to be able to stretch the field. You got to be able to push the ball down the field. They didn’t do that a ton at Memphis, so I think that will make it a little bit different to transition (to the NFL).”
To be fair, Lynch has a lot of things going for him – aside from his 36-inch vertical and 4.86 40.
“One, he looks just like Brock Osweiler, but he’s a better athlete,” Quinn said. “He’s with Gary Kubiak, so you know they’re going to run the football. Everyone knows that. They’re going to stack the box, he’s going to have one-on-one coverage on the outside, and basically he’s going to benefit off of that run game and play-action (passes) opening things up more for him on the back end. I think he’s got a shot. It’s just whether or not that coaching and the fundamentals will fall in line.”
Looking ahead to Day 2, Quinn believes Connor Cook is without question the top quarterback prospect available.
“It’s not even close,” Quinn said. “People are questioning the leadership thing because he wasn’t a captain. There’s a lot of people talking about (his 56.1 completion percentage). One, he played with a (banged-up) shoulder this season. Toughed it out, played through it, so you got to give him some points for that. You could tell it definitely affected him. And since watching him throw at the Combine, you kind of see that he’s been able to fix whatever was wrong and he looks much more comfortable throwing the football. But it’s also their offense. It wasn’t like they were a dink-and-dunk offense. We talk about Paxton Lynch and his throws over 40 yards. Connor Cook was pushing the ball down the field much more than Paxton Lynch was, so you’re going to miss some of those throws. Those are lower completion percentage throws anyways. I don’t have any reservations about Connor Cook. I think he’s got a lot of value in the second round. I think he could be a franchise quarterback.”