On Thursday morning, I wrote about the Denver Broncos’ (bad) quarterback situation heading into the 2016 NFL Draft:
Given that the rest of the roster remains Super Bowl-quality on paper, and knowing how aggressive general manager John Elway has been in recent years to give the Broncos the best chance to succeed, it’s rather puzzling that the only notable quarterback on Denver’s roster entering the draft is Mark Sanchez.
Especially when you consider that they don’t pick until 31st in the first round, at which point at least two (Jared Goff and Carson Wentz), and possibly three, four, or even five quarterbacks could be gone already. And even if the Broncos were to land a Paxton Lynch, Christian Hackenberg, or Connor Cook, do they want to throw that (raw) guy into the pressure of trying to defend a Super Bowl?
Well, John Elway is indeed going with one of those young quarterbacks to — at least — challenge Mark Sanchez for the Broncos’ starting quarterback job instead of a veteran like Colin Kaepernick or Sam Bradford.
The Broncos made a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to trade up from the 31st pick to the 26th pick, to select Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.
Cancer survivor announces the @Broncos pick.
It’s @PaxtonLynch. So incredibly awesome. #NFLDraft https://t.co/lGZbyOHk6v
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2016
We’re thrilled that Paxton Lynch is going to be a Bronco. He fits what we do very well and plays the game with a lot of enthusiasm. — John Elway (@johnelway) April 29, 2016
Elway, when asked whether he started the day targeting Paxton Lynch: “Yes.” — Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 29, 2016
Like former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, Lynch is very tall, listed at 6’7″. Lynch is a high-ceiling guy that has all of the tools you’re looking for in a quarterback, but is far from a finished product. Here’s more on Lynch from NFL.Com‘s draft profile about him:
While the hype around “dual threat” quarterbacks has subsided, Lynch possesses the size and athleticism to make NFL teams take a second look. Unlike other size/speed quarterbacks like Vince Young and Colin Kaepernick, Lynch prefers to extend passing plays with his feet rather than bolting from the pocket, but he is still likely to make plenty of plays with his feet over the long haul. Lynch shows the ability to read defenses and make smart decisions, but not yet at an NFL starting level. While he has the physical tools to start right away, a team who is willing to allow him to sit and study his craft for a year could reap maximum rewards in the future.
Elway says that Lynch will compete for the starting job in camp:
#Broncos GM John Elway says Paxton Lynch will compete for the starting job. Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian currently on the roster. — Raul Martinez (@RaulSports) April 29, 2016
Additionally, Elway says that the Lynch pick ends the team’s pursuit of Kaepernick:
John Elway told 9news this ends Broncos pursuit of Colin Kaepernick #9news — Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) April 29, 2016
So, it looks like it’s going to be Mark Sanchez and a raw, but highly talented rookie, trying to defend the Broncos’ Super Bowl title.
Ian Rapoport reports that the Dallas Cowboys tried to make a move to acquire Lynch themselves:
The #Cowboys tried to trade back into the first round, and I’m told it was for #Memphis QB Paxton Lynch. They couldn’t do it.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2016