Let’s start here. Paxton Lynch will be battling for the Denver Broncos’ backup quarterback role in 2018. You have an opinion already. You probably found yourself on one side or the other of the Lynch vs. Siemian debate over the last two years. If you were a Lynch fan, you probably won’t admit it. That’s OK.
Name: Paxton Lynch
Height: 6’ 7” (Editor’s note: He’s taalllllllll)
Experience: Third Season
Full disclosure, I disliked Trevor Siemian and thought the Broncos needed to roll the dice with Lynch. As a rookie, and as a second year player, I would have preferred that. On the MHR Radio podcast you can go back and listen to Ian St. Clair and I question the team’s decisions if you want. I wouldn’t relive it, though.
If you are a frequent visitor to Mile High Report you already read Joe Rowles GIF Horse on Lynch. It’s an excellent breakdown of Lynch’s game. I am not getting into that. You can scroll through and read any number of takes on the third year QB. What everyone knows is this, Lynch is currently battling for his NFL life.
Lynch has all the tools to be a good player in the NFL. Think Colin Kaepernick circa 2012. He has the arm to make all the throws. He has the legs to move around the pocket. The potential is there for Lynch. His first round talent has come out at times, and if he can find a way to piece it all together, he may find himself battling for the starting job in the future (after Keenum has completed his run in Denver).
Lynch doesn’t seem to have the mental ability to be in the league. Every tweet from Lynch, and Instagram post shows him throwing down an epic workout. However, he seems to be missing the ability to understand a playbook. The Lynch defenders out there will argue that he hasn’t been given a chance.
Coming into his third year, Lynch should be done piecing it together. After being a first round pick, this should be his breakout year. For that to happen, Keenum will have to get hurt, and he will have to beat out Chad Kelly for the backup role. Neither of those is guaranteed.
After rookie minicamp in May Vance Joseph had an interesting take on Lynch’s position on the team:
For Paxton and our football team it’s been a weight off all of our backs to have a starting quarterback. It’s a relief to have everyone’s role defined from day one. For Paxton, he can relax and get better each day without worrying about a competition. [QB] Case [Keenum] has been through some ups and downs in his career. He can learn from Case on how to handle those things. It takes time to be an NFL quarterback and you would hope that with Case being here, he can sit back, relax, and not worry about being ‘the guy’ right now.
Even John Elway said, “We’re not kicking Paxton to the curb.” It must be nice for Lynch to have all the pressure off, but that doesn’t sound like a starting QB in the NFL. Lynch needs more time to develop, but Joseph’s quote indicates that Lynch struggles with pressure. There is no more pressure filled job in the NFL than QB.
As Elway noted, Lynch is not being kicked to the curb. The Denver Broncos want him to succeed. Paxton Lynch becoming a solid starter in the NFL is vindication for Elway, who traded up to draft Lynch in 2016. While some think the team could decline his 5th year option, it is more likely that Denver rides this out until Lynch has fully proven he can’t become Denver’s future.