Paxton Lynch, QB
School: Memphis | Conference: American Athletic Conference
College Experience: Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-7 / 244 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Mid to Late 1st Round
NFL Comparison: Brock Osweiler
Paxton Lynch is widely regarded as one of the top Quarterbacks in this year's draft class and by most opinions is slated as the number three QB that's going to be selected after Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. Conversation about Lynch being a top pick in the draft started this year when he really showed growth in his decision making and production playing in Memphis' spread offense. Lynch is a physically gifted QB possessing the height and frame teams looking for a pocket QB covet. Lynch is also suprisingly athletic and quick for such a tall player. With over 600 rushing yards in his career and Memphis running a fair share a read option Lynch can tuck it and gain positive yards. He also knows when to tuck it and go when playing in the pocket. He is far from a run first QB though. He has impressive poise in the pocket with good awareness. He senses when to step up or move laterally. He also is capable of hanging tough and delivering a throw with a defender in his face.
Some concerns about Lynch center around if he is a system QB. At Memphis he played in a spread offense that ran a large number of plays that were high percentage throws (screens, outs, bootlegs etc). Lynch executed what he was asked to do which is get the ball in the playmakers hands and let them get the yardage. My two cents is a lot of NFL offenses ask their quarterbacks to do just that these days but there is a question if Lynch will ever develop into a quarterback that can take over a game himself. Like all of the quarterbacks in this class (in my opinion) Lynch is not near ready to start right away for an NFL team. It will serve him well to be drafted by a team where he can sit and learn the offense and how to break down NFL defenses before having to start.
- Great maneuvering ability in the pocket has the awareness to step up or take off laterally to find space.
- Very accurate when he has time throwing from the pocket. Sets his feet and is able to keep his composure under pressure from the pocket.
- Fast and athletic for his size. A relatively smooth and smart runner than makes good decisions when he takes off.
- Has the arm strength to make every throw on the field. Knows when to gun it and when to deliver the ball with finesse.
- Takes what the defense gives him and rarely forces an overly contested throw but also has the confidence to let it rip when he sees an opening.
- Excellent size for the QB position.
- Throws behind his receivers too often cause them to stop then have to start again or causing them to fall down to secure the catch. Overall throwing with anticipation is lacking. Has a nasty habit of putting his receiver in a bad spot to get hit too.
- For being a mobile QB his throw accuracy and velocity disintegrate when he has to throw on the move under pressure. Needs to work on footwork and mechanics when under duress.
- On play action he relies too heavily on his athleticism to buy time and holds on to the ball too long. Must develop an internal clock for these plays like he has when playing in the pocket NFL level defenders are going to get him if he holds onto the ball like that.
- Played in an offense where getting the ball to his playmakers hands was the first order of business, quick screens, flats and shallow dump offs where a staple of the Memphis offense mainly run out of the shotgun. He wasn't asked to put it all on his back a lot rather rely on his teammates to do the work.
Let's see his work:
Mike Mayock: "He's a first round pick from a talent perspective all day long." https://t.co/jKObuug2e1— NFL (@NFL) April 9, 2016
"Paxton Lynch doesn't make reads" https://t.co/3tIr5ADvly— Will Stevenson (@DraftMarvel) April 9, 2016
#Memphis QB Paxton Lynch - Likely knows he's going to take a hit but remains calm and for WR route to devel... https://t.co/31efQttLMN— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) March 16, 2016
#Memphis QB Paxton Lynch - Beautiful #NFLDraft https://t.co/IzFpk4IMy0— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) March 16, 2016
#Memphis QB Paxton Lynch - I think we have a little improvisational back shoulder throw here. I like it #NF... https://t.co/Hwl9KvFPGn— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) March 16, 2016
Good footwork and a strong arm. (@paxtonlynch) #EaglesNation https://t.co/ZY5np1PKtf— Greg S. Kennedy (@GregSKennedy) March 4, 2016
On Paxton Lynch's Pro Day: 1. He was the only scholarship player on the field, the rest were walkons; 2. #Jets had 5 people, #Chargers had 3— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 7, 2016
PFF scouting report for Memphis QB Paxton Lynch: https://t.co/ISGJgQMGlh— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 9, 2016
#Saints are doing QB homework again. Connor Cook is on the visit list, they had lunch with Paxton Lynch today, get IU's Nate Sudfeld in soon— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2016
Per a source, Paxton Lynch is headed to Dallas Thursday for a Friday visit with the Cowboys.— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) April 6, 2016
#Bills ate dinner with Paxton Lynch, will visit with Connor Cook, Cardale Jones, did extensive work on Jared Goff… they are in the QB market— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2016
"Compared to the way he looked at the Combine to today, much cleaner, more efficient..."— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 6, 2016
- @BuckyBrooks https://t.co/D8aV29Iis1
.@MikeMayock: Paxton Lynch would be in coversation for one of the 5 strongest arms in NFL— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) April 6, 2016
.@MikeMayock: Paxton Lynch is a first-round talent, probably needs to sit for a year behind a veteran QB— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) April 6, 2016
I'm told there are 26 teams represented at Paxton Lynch's Pro Day today. And #Chargers fans, Ken Whisenhunt is in attendance ...— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) April 6, 2016
There’s a lot to like about Paxton Lynch. But the thing you notice is that his passes are behind receivers a lot.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) April 7, 2016
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
How many of you would break your televisions if you stayed up to watch the Redskins select Lynch at 21? If you are opposed to the idea you'll be comforted by the unlikely nature of Lynch getting past the Eagles at 13, or Buffalo and the Jets at 19 and 20 respectively. I think Lynch is a potential fit in the Skins offense. He has experience with West Coast offense concepts and threw a lot of quick screens, play action, and bootlegs. He's also a smart player and too big leaps in college to up his production and cut down on turnovers. As I mentioned above it would really benefit him to be drafted by a team where he has the ability to sit and learn the offense.
If the Redskins drafted Lynch it would signal loud and clear that the front office views Kirk Cousins as a bridge for a couple of years rather than a true franchise quarterback, and quarterback talk would once again return to Washington. I have no real idea on how Scot and Jay view Lynch but I doubt they would pull the trigger on a quarterback that early in the draft when most signs are pointing to the front office trying to build the team in a wholistic nature instead of selecting a quarterback in the first round. Paxton Lynch will be a starting QB in the league but his success may be largely determined by his supporting cast and what the offense asks him to do.