After losing Peyton Manning to retirement and the shocking loss of Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans, it was no secret that the Denver Broncos were in the market for a quarterback.
Denver picked up Mark Sanchez during the offseason, but even he wasn’t being seriously considered as a starter at the time. According to John Elway, Sanchez brought veteran leadership to Denver but would compete for a role.Embed from Getty Images
But the Broncos are no longer on the hunt for a quarterback. After moving up aggressively in the 2016 NFL Draft, many believe first-round pick Paxton Lynch could start as soon as Week 1.
Paxton Lynch Stats
Lynch received All-ACC honors and was voted team MVP in his last season with the University of Memphis. He became a serious draft target after his 2015 season when he threw for 3,776 yards, 28 touchdowns, four interceptions.
He finished and a 66.8% completion rate.
He continued to impress at the 2016 Combine with his size, athleticism and foot speed. At 6-foot-7, 244 pounds, Lynch will be one of the biggest quarterbacks in the league.
In comparison, Ben Roethlisberger is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds.
But in spite of his size, Lynch is still incredibly mobile. Lynch was sacked just 15 times in 477 drop backs during his college career.
Some of the shine fades from Lynch, however, when you read reports from scouts…
One of the most common concerns was that the Memphis quarterback was unfamiliar with an NFL style offense. Scouts also worry that Lynch’s passes are often wobbly and not the easiest to catch.
But luckily for Lynch, he may have landed in the perfect spot. Head coach Gary Kubiak has a history of making (sometimes unbelievably) the most of his quarterback talent.
Coach Kubiak is as talented as they come, and has no problem molding his offensive schemes to fit his quarterbacks. He also features a lot of bootleg plays and roll outs as opposed to drop backs, which would bring a level of familiarity to a quarterback eager to learn and succeed.
2016 Denver Broncos Quarterbacks
Another point in Lynch’s favor is he isn’t facing the strongest competition in the battle for the starting spot.
Trevor Siemian has only one play logged, which was a kneel down against t.he Pittsburgh Steelers, for negative one yard.
Sanchez, the current front runner for the job, has almost as many interceptions as touchdowns in his career (84 and 86 respectively). While his veteran status may give him an edge, his pocket mobility is questionable (I’m sure everyone remembers the infamous butt fumble).
— Chris Thomas (@cthomas8888) June 8, 2016
Paxton Lynch 2016 Fantasy Outlook
While it’s unlikely that Lynch will be ready to step onto the field as a starter at the beginning of the season, there is no doubt in my mind that he will lead the offense at some point in 2016.Embed from Getty Images
Sanchez just doesn’t have the stuff of a starting quarterback, and Siemian offers little to no threat.
We should see Lynch by Week 6, at the latest.
And Denver is loaded with enough talent to make Lynch’s job a little easier.
Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas are one of the best Fantasy duos in the business. Fantasy starts are still waiting for Cody Latimer to emerge, but don’t hold your breath. He recently had some issues off the field.
Manning is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to have taken the field, but it was obvious last season that he wasn’t playing his best.
Now, I’m not equating a fresh Paxton Lynch with a (I hate saying this) failing Peyton Manning, but it does show that Denver doesn’t need the flashiest of quarterbacks to be extremely successful.
If Lynch can make the NFL transition, his mobility and size will make him an absolute monster in the red zone (think Tim Tebow). That could translate to a lot of Fantasy points.
Lynch is an absolute must-own player in dynasty leagues. It’s no secret that the Broncos are looking for their next franchise quarterback, and Lynch is looking like a strong candidate for the job.
And if you’re looking to take a flier on a rookie quarterback in 2016, he’s worth targeting in regular season leagues if you want to do a little gambling.
For rookie quarterbacks, I only have Jared Goff ahead of Lynch.