The Denver Broncos traded with the Seattle Seahawks and select Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch with the No. 26 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
After losing Brock Osweiler to the Texans in free agency, the Broncos trade up with the Seahawks to take the most Osweiler-y quarterback in this draft class. Lynch stands 6' 7" and weighs 235 pounds, but he’s very mobile, and his familiarity with boot action concepts makes him a perfect fit for what Gary Kubiak wants to do. Lynch may need a year or so to learn the complexities of the NFL game, but he might take an accelerated track with a somewhat simplified version of the Broncos’ scheme.
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Strengths: Lynch comes from a college system that allowed for diverse backfield action concepts and a fairly full route tree. Has surprising athleticism for his size; he can run for gains in the open field and roll out of pressure. Runs to throw; he’s not a disorganized scrambler. Outstanding boot-action quarterback when the routes are structured. Has the arm to make any throw, including the downfield far hash and seam, and the deep post. His NFL team won’t have to compensate for his arm in its route concepts. Has a good (if inconsistent) arc on intermediate timed anticipation throws. The quality of competition argument went away with the Ole Miss win, though the loss to Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl raised questions about how Lynch will handle defenses who take away his screens.
Weaknesses: Struggles at times with lower-body mechanics—will throw from a flat-footed base and loses accuracy and velocity as a result. Field vision needs improvement, as Lynch will take sacks with open receivers on his side of the field. Needs to be quicker and more decisive under pressure, and must learn to play out of chaos. Doesn’t always sense pressure outside of his peripheral vision. Benefited from a ton of screen bailouts; he isn’t as practiced at standing in the pocket and delivering the pressured throw. Had some multi-receiver reads in the Memphis offense, but will need to process things more quickly and look defenders off with more consistency in the NFL.