Thanks to some sly maneuvering last night by John Elway, the Denver Broncos are ready to rock-and-roll at the QB position after trading up five spots to get Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.
This was a bit of a coup for the Broncos who had to snatch the prospect before the Cowboys, Chiefs or Browns got him, and as anyone going to a defending Super Bowl champion team would be, Lynch was thrilled with his landing spot.
"It was honestly the greatest feeling," the 6-foot-7 quarterback said from the Florida bowling alley he rented for a Draft party. "You just want to get picked and go to a team and get to work. This is a dream come true to me and the Denver Broncos organization is obviously one of the best in the league."
Lynch noted that he had a lot of offensive weapons at Memphis to help him make his year a successful one with nearly 3,800 yards and 28 TDs. He's looking forward to working with the Broncos' "weapons" now.
"Obviously watching the Broncos this year, Peyton had weapons all over the place," Lynch noted. "The way they worked for him and the way he worked for them was incredible to watch. They had weapons on the offensive side of the ball as well as the defensive side of the ball."
Broncos GM John Elway said while a good part of his scouting team looks at film and stats and various pieces of information, Elway likes to talk to the players to get a sense of who they are. This is no doubt how a genius GM will make sure a player is not just a good fit on the field but in the locker room as well.
Both Elway and head coach Gary Kubiak got that sense with Lynch.
"For me when I meet with these kids, it's a matter of me kind of getting to know them, knowing their background and just getting a feel for them," Elway said. "One thing that we really liked about Paxton is the enthusiasm that he plays the game with. Paxton is the first one down there in the end zone to congratulate the guy. He's involved."
Kubiak echoed that sentiment and said his visit with Lynch was "very good."
"He'd fit in very well," Kubiak said Thursday night. "He did a great job when he was here, and like I said, that was a very big piece of the puzzle. I thought it was a great visit."
Welcome to the champs, Paxton.https://t.co/UXyB1tCI3W— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 29, 2016
Lynch also knows the expectation that he's not being dubbed an immediate starter but he is being asked to compete with both Mark Sanchez and second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian. He's just fine with that role.
"Obviously I'm very excited, and I understand the role that I have coming in," Lynch said, adding later, "There are some good quarterbacks on the roster right now and I know there will be good competition between all of us."
Kubiak pointed out that the Broncos have a lot of faith in Sanchez and believe his hard work right now is going to be good for all involved - helping Lynch get up to speed and making the quarterback competition a good one.
"We have a lot of confidence in Mark. He's doing a great job, working extremely hard," Kubiak said, adding that he's not worried at all about getting Lynch into his "under center-style" offense. "[Paxton] has shown the ability to do everything that we need him to do, so I think we can make up a lot of ground very quickly in how he plays and what I saw him do throughout his college time."
Kubiak isn't in a hurry to put a rookie in charge, but he's not necessarily ruling it out either.
"We'll take it a day at a time. First off, we know that he has the ability to do that, and that's why we stepped up and went and got him," the head coach pointed out. "We'll put him in the right situation."
Kubiak believes the other quarterbacks as well as the other players will be key in helping Lynch get established for a bigger and bigger role - whether that's this season or a future one.
"He's coming to a good football team and needs to stay focused on his job and his growth and what he needs to do," Kubiak said. "One thing about our team - our guys will embrace him and they will help him. We've got a lot of good people around him and, as a quarterback, you can't ask for anything better than that."
Lynch is excited to get started with those guys and don the Orange and Blue No. 12
"There have been a lot of great quarterbacks that have come through here Denver and a good one obviously last year with Peyton [Manning]," Lynch said. "So I know there are a lot of shoes to fill. But I'm glad I'm on a team now, and I'm ready to get up there and get to work."