clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos' Paxton Lynch not afraid of the hype, bright lights of the NFL

New, comments

Paxton Lynch has quickly become a favorite among Broncos fans, and Jeremy Adcock of Underdog Dynasty is only going to make the rookie's stock go up in the eyes of Denver fans with this second installment of our Q&As with the college bloggers about Broncos' draft picks.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos' new rookie quarterback out of the University of Memphis got his first taste of the NFL and playing for the Broncos last Friday when rookie minicamp opened.

And then he graduated from college on Saturday.

Get drafted by the greatest team in America ✔️ Graduate from college with my best friends ✔️

A photo posted by Paxton Lynch (@paxtonlynch) on

But the short introduction to the Broncos at minicamp was certainly an education for Paxton Lynch.

"Obviously it's a whole new offense. It's an NFL offense so there are going to be struggles with everybody. I felt like I knew what was going on; I just don't think I was picking it up as fast as I should have," Lynch said. "That will come in time. I just love the fact that I'm getting every rep I could possibly get right now so I'm taking advantage of that. When I get in camp with those older guys I'll be splitting more reps, so I'm trying to get as much as I can now."

In his draft profile of Lynch, Adcock called the Memphis quarterback a "high risk, high reward" kind of player who "could be a star for the right team."

Here's to the Broncos being the right team:

MHR - Paxton Lynch is coming into the NFL with a lot of fanfare, even gracing a regional cover of Sports Illustrated. How do you think he will handle the hype, pressure of being one of the top-rated rookie QBs coming into the league?
Adcock - I really don't see the bright lights of the NFL affecting Lynch. People always try to bring up his less-than-stellar performance from the Birmingham Bowl, but that was a bowl game with a new coaching staff and a one-time performance.

I prefer to look at the tape against Ole Miss. It was a CBS national telecast versus an Ole Miss team that beat Alabama. He absolutely shredded them with his arm and legs, pulling off one of the greatest wins in school history. He is definitely not afraid of the hype and bright lights.

MHR - Before the Draft - and since - one of the common critiques of Lynch was that he was "raw" and would need a year or two in the NFL to really become a good quarterback - especially coming from a spread offense and now needing to play more under center. Do you agree he needs time to develop before starting and why/why not?
Adcock - Lynch is raw at several aspects involving technique, but he is much closer than many of the experts see him. He fits all the physical characteristics that the Broncos want out of a quarterback, but he should not be a day one starter. He needs a bit of time for working on technique and learning to play at the NFL level.

The thing about Denver getting Lynch is that he is a Gary Kubiak quarterback more than any quarterback of the last few drafts. He is a player who can run the bootlegs and scramble when needed. He can throw with accuracy and power on the run, something missing from the Denver offense late in the season.

His best scenario is to start as a backup and get handed the reins midway through the season when Mark Sanchez starts to falter. There is no need to throw him to the wolves as a rookie and ruin him like so many first-round busts in the past.

MHR - In theory, Lynch could be coming into an excellent situation for a new quarterback - a strong defense, a veteran QB as mentor and a veteran offense with some serious WR weapons. Do you see this as a great scenario for Lynch and will it allow him to thrive into franchise QB stardom eventually?
Adcock - In many ways, this situation reminds me of the OIlers/Titans and Steve McNair. Coming from Alcorn State, McNair was a much different quarterback than Chris Chandler. McNair saw some starting duty early in his career before taking over and eventually leading the Titans to a Super Bowl.

The thing about Lynch is he is a Gary Kubiak quarterback more than any other QB in the last few drafts. He can run the bootlegs and scramble when needed. He can throw with accuracy and power on the run.   -Jeremy Adcock

MHR- What if the opposite occurs, and Lynch impresses enough to become the starting quarterback this season. Do you think Lynch could be ready for that role or will it be a struggle and a possible confidence buster? (and if he does become the starter, does that say more about the lack of strength at our QB position or about Lynch's talent?)
Adcock - If Lynch comes in and impresses enough to start immediately, I would feel very lukewarm about it. He has the physical tools to play at a very high level, but a Thursday night opener versus the Carolina defense is not the place to start a rookie quarterback. I do not think it would crush his confidence, but it could delay Lynch making the strides forward he could make as an early backup.

Lynch is a much different quarterback than Sanchez and should take things slowly. That will allow him to learn the position and find out exactly what Kubiak wants from his quarterback. Week 10 or 11 of this season would be a great time to see Lynch earn control of the reins of the Broncos offense.

I hate to throw Sanchez under the bus, but if he cannot hold on to the starting job for at least the first four games of the 2016 season, he does not even need to be on the roster.

MHR - Lynch mentioned his footwork as the biggest area of improvement he believes he will need. Would you agree and why/why not? What other areas will he need to improve at this level?
Adcock - I agree. Lynch wasn't the traditional quarterback who went to the top camps and had the top personal coaches. Much of what he has been able to accomplish has been from hard work on his own. You can tell in his play that he does not always get his feet set correctly, and that can affect his accuracy dramatically.

He is a student of the game but needs to understand how to watch and dissect film at the NFL level. He could physically get away with bad mechanics at the college level, but he has to clean it up to be a successful NFL player.

Luckily for the Broncos, every major issue he needs work on can be fixed with a good quarterback coach.

MHR - Would you pick Lynch for your fantasy football team this year?
Adcock - Not this year...but give him a couple of years in this offense and he could be one of the top players at his position for the NFL and fantasy football.

MHR - Lynch's back story is great - kid from a small high school stays loyal to coach and refuses to transfer despite potential fallout for college scholarships; helps turn around a dismal Memphis program and makes it a contender even among major SEC powerhouses. How will this help him at the next level - or is it just a nice feel-good story?
Adcock - I never discount the underdog attitude of a player with talent. He had to work for everything he accomplished at Memphis, and it is nothing short of amazing how much the program turned around under Lynch. Memphis went from 7-29 and a national laughing stock during the three years before Lynch started to 22-16, including two bowl trips, in his three years as a starter.

No one can underestimate just how extraordinary Lynch played in 2014 and 2015 in leading Memphis to bowl games. He is a winner and is not worried about personal success as long as the wins come. He knows just how hard it is to win and will do everything in his power to help Denver win games.

MHR - What kind of teammate and leader was Lynch for the Tigers? Any interesting stories from this past season (or another one) that speak to his character?
Adcock - The best example I can give you about Lynch as a teammate and leader is from the Ole Miss game. Everyone forgets that they were down 14-0 and looked to be on the ropes early. Rather than blame the defense and fall apart, Lynch kept everyone on both sides of the ball calm and believing they could come back and win.

He is not as much of the rah-rah type as he is a calming influence on his teammates. No matter the score, he always believes that his team can win.

Without going too cliché, Lynch is only worried about getting wins for the team.

No one can underestimate just how extraordinary Lynch played in 2014 and 2015 in leading Memphis to bowl games. He had to work for everything he accomplished and it's nothing short of amazing. -Jeremy Adcock

MHR - That sounds quite a bit like another favorite Broncos quarterback. One of the things Peyton Manning always did well was command the huddle and instill confidence. It sounds like this will be a strength Lynch will bring with him - is that true?
Adcock - Any rookie quarterback will struggle a bit at figuring out how to command the huddle, especially in training camp. Just getting in the play alone is a chore and time consuming. I see Lynch picking up on that quickly as he is naturally a confident person - a trait that is crucial to any quarterback. By the time the season rolls around, I don't see it being an issue.

MHR - What is something unique about this kid?
Adcock - Lynch was part of a Wing-T offense in high school. In case anyone does not know, Wing-T offenses aren't really known for their high-flying passing attacks. He basically self taught himself well enough that he was the starter as a redshirt freshman. That shows intelligence, talent and determination to be the best. I will take those qualities out of a quarterback anytime.

MHR- Favorite thing about Lynch?
Adcock - His deep ball. Yes, it was at the college level, but Lynch connected 44.9 percent of the time on deep balls (21-plus yards), including 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

He throws a beautiful deep ball, something that was missing last season for Denver. I am expecting beat reporters and fans who attend training camp to rave about the long ball.