In a not-so-surprising-but-maybe-a-little-surprising move, the Denver Broncos traded up to 26 from 31 to select University of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch as its first-round pick.
John Elway had been afraid other teams behind them (such as the Chiefs) were going to jump up to take Lynch, so the Broncos stole their thunder and traded spots with the Seahawks to go get "their guy."
"He was our guy that we had pinpointed, and fortunately he fell far enough that we could go up and get him," Elway said Thursday night. "He has a tremendous amount of athleticism. He's big, he's strong and he's just going to continue to get better. We're extremely thrilled to have Paxton."
"He's a sponge, wants to learn, wants to get better. He's going to fit in well here." - @johnelway on @PaxtonLynch. pic.twitter.com/78sMnDapX5— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) April 29, 2016
Elway and coach Gary Kubiak are excited to bring Lynch on board and give him the needed time and development to prepare him to take the reins when he's ready.
But both Elway and Kubiak like what they see so far - a lot of athleticism, vision and enthusiasm.
"It's really hard in this business to coach guys to keep their eyes downfield when they're moving, and [Lynch] does that," Kubiak said.
Kubiak: "I really enjoyed my visit with (Lynch) ... this guy extends plays. He has a knack for making people miss."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 29, 2016
While Pro Football Focus gave the pick a grade of B, it also pointed out the Lynch was No. 1 in this year's QB class for accuracy rate under pressure at 70 percent.
And Elway acknowledged that this move will end any pursuit of 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Lynch's new teammates were definitely excited to welcome him to the squad and invite him to join the defending champs in getting back to work.
Welcome to the squad young fella @PaxtonLynch --- let's work! pic.twitter.com/H08pS4cAZz— Emmanuel Sanders (@ESanders_10) April 29, 2016
Congrats to @PaxtonLynch lets go to work #BroncosCountry— Matt Paradis (@two_dice) April 29, 2016
Mr. Lynch get ready to work— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) April 29, 2016
Congrats @PaxtonLynch. Welcome to the squad! #BroncosCountry #NoFlyZone— T.J. Ward (@BossWard43) April 29, 2016
Welcome to broncos country @PaxtonLynch— Cody Latimer (@CodyLatimer14) April 29, 2016
Welcome to the League and the Denver Broncos @PaxtonLynch lets get it this work!!— Corey Nelson (@C_Ne7son) April 29, 2016
Lynch, who threw 28 touchdowns last year and passed for over 3,700 yards, knows he's getting an ideal situation with such high-caliber receivers as Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and says he is "ready to work."
Lynch: "I'm really excited" to throw to Thomas & Sanders. "They have weapons on the offensive side of the ball."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 29, 2016
Lynch knows the M.O. on him is that he's "a project," but that doesn't bother him one bit.
"I don't think any QB is ready," Lynch said, "so every QB is a project when they come in to the NFL."
Like DeMarcus Ware put it, Lynch has the ultimate opportunity to make something of his football career.
Congrats on the opportunity @PaxtonLynch. See you in the locker room! #Broncos— D-Ware (@DeMarcusWare) April 29, 2016