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Paxton Lynch a great fit for Broncos' scheme, cap space

Paxton Lynch isn't billed as a first-year starting quarterback - and that's OK. He's exactly the type of quarterback the Broncos should have drafted.

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Woo Hoo, Broncos Country!

The 2016 NFL Draft is finally under way, and now that the first-round pick is in the books with Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, the quarterback rumors/controversy is finally over too (at least until preseason!)

Now, I don't want to brag too much here (I'll leave that to Scotty, who is rightfully ecstatic over this pick and all his mocks drafting Lynch!), but I did mention three weeks ago that Lynch was my choice for the Broncos "QB of the future" and said so again in Christopher Hart's excellent round table draft series yesterday.

So it was reassuring no doubt that John Elway felt the same way and moved up so the Broncos could make my pick a reality!

Seems like a good time for a "TYJE."

But it was even more reassuring to hear all the reasons why Elway and Gary Kubiak like Lynch so much - and more importantly why this move is good for the Broncos as well as the young quarterback.

To the list we go!

1. Good team for developing quarterbacks

With Lynch's athleticism, height, big arm and ability to run the play-action and bootleg Kubiak loves so much,  Lynch will be an ideal candidate in the Kubiak offense. But it's no mystery Lynch's talent is pretty raw and will need a lot of refining and developing.

That's why the Broncos are a perfect fit for Lynch and vice versa. Kubiak and his staff pride themselves in being teachers, and they will take the time to work with Lynch to improve his game.

Plus, the head coach sees Lynch's weaknesses as only temporary and very improvable. "We saw him do all of the things that we want him to do from a movement standpoint -- playing out of the gun, throwing the ball out of the pocket, getting up under center, moving, those types of things," Kubiak said.

2. An inexperienced quarterback needs a strong defense to pull more weight

With most of our stacked championship defense returning, the Broncos have the luxury of not needing the best quarterback in the world but just needing a guy who can run the offense (and not turning over the ball helps too!) while the defense takes care of business.

While the Broncos most likely put Mark Sanchez in the driver's seat this coming season and Lynch spends time learning the system, the defense can keep this championship train moving.

And if Elway can keep pulling in great depth on defense, we all know what Wade Phillips can do with it, so this defense has the potential to be great for many seasons to come - giving all our quarterbacks time to be who we will eventually need them to be.

3. New quarterbacks need mentors

Being drafted to the position that requires leadership and respect is not an easy one to jump right into because it takes time to develop rapport with your players while also getting a handle on the playbook.

Enter Sanchez who was brought on to compete for the starting job on his own quarterbacking skills - which hasn't changed. But you have to know Elway was also thinking ahead to when he might need to draft a young quarterback that would need some grooming by a solid veteran with both experience and leadership skills.

It's no Peyton Manning, but it is an excellent opportunity for Lynch to learn from a pro.

And good competition never hurt anyone.

"They're all going to compete," Kubiak said Thursday night. "The great thing about our situation right now with Mark and Trevor and of course Paxton now - €”they're all coming up together. Even though Mark is a veteran player, he's new in our system. So the growth together will be a good situation for all three of them."

Kubiak pointed out there are no givens on the starting player at quarterback.

"Everybody competes, and I'm expecting him to come in here and make up some ground really quick," Kubiak said of Lynch. "But I think it's a great group to go to work with. I know Greg Knapp and Rick Dennison are very excited about him, so we've got to make up as much ground as we can."

4. Financial sense for the Broncos

Drafting Lynch - and therefore extinguishing all notions of going after Colin Kaepernick and his guaranteed $11 million salary or Bradford's guaranteed $22 million - is a huge boost to the Broncos' cap space.

Andrew Mason reported that last year's No. 26 overall pick signed a four-year deal worth approximately $8.7 million and a $2.1 million salary cap hit.

Mason added that given those similar numbers for this year, Lynch's average cap value would be around $2.4 million, which is $13.5 million less than the reported offer to Osweiler, and $15.5 million below his average annual value in the Houston contract.

So what better way for Lynch to come into the NFL than heralded as the future leader but minus unrealistic expectations his rookie year and plus a Super Bowl-winning defense? All while keeping the Broncos' cap low enough to sign some other very necessary players (cough Von Miller cough)?


Can you say "winning?"


Horse Tracks

Know your Chiefs draft crush: Memphis QB Paxton Lynch - Arrowhead Pride
Let's get to know a QB that once visited the Chiefs...and has now been taken by the Broncos.

Denver Broncos trade up with Seattle Seahawks to select Paxton Lynch with No. 26 pick in NFL draft
The Broncos moved up from pick No. 31 to No. 26 via a trade with the Seahawks and selected Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, likely ending their pursuit of Colin Kaepernick, GM John Elway said.

How the Broncos' trade up to pick Paxton Lynch happened
John Elway had Lynch targeted, and the Broncos were calling teams from the 17th pick on down to try and move up for the Memphis QB.

2016 Draft Show: Elway on first pick Lynch
BTV's Phil Milani talks with VP of Football ops & GM John Elway on the Broncos first round draft pick, quarterback Paxton Lynch.

2016 NFL draft: Thumbs up, thumbs down for 2016 first-round picks
NFL Nation reporters assess every first-round pick.

Watch: Paxton Lynch shows off arm strength at pro day and NFL combine | Broncos Wire
Check out these pro day and combine highlights of new Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch.

The first 31 and what each pick means | The MMQB with Peter King
Breaking down the ‘why’ of each of Thursday night’s first-round picks.

It’s Hard To Tell How Good NFL Teams Are At The Draft | FiveThirtyEight
From NFL front offices to fan message boards, the amount of time spent arguing over which players teams should draft is mind-boggling.

L.A. Rams select Jared Goff with top pick of NFL draft -
The Los Angeles Rams have their quarterback of the future. The team selected Cal's Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Cardinals end Robert Nkemdiche's draft-day fall -
The Cardinals grabbed talented but troubled defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche with the No. 29 overall pick. What can we expect from the Ole Miss star in Arizona?

Agent on Laremy Tunsil gas mask tweet -- Was hacked
Laremy Tunsil fell to the Miami Dolphins with the No. 13 pick on Thursday after video was tweeted from his account showing him smoking a substance through a gas mask.

Ryan Fitzpatrick would sit if New York Jets don't budge
Ryan Fitzpatrick has told people he would rather retire than play for the Jets at their current contract offer, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

NFL replaces rookie symposium with new rookie transition program | ProFootballTalk
The NFL's rookie symposium has come to an end. The symposium, which brought every drafted player to one central location to learn about the off-field issues relevant to playing pro football, took some criticism when it was revealed that Cris Carter told rookies they should get a fall guy to take the blame.