NFL Draft Profile: Paxton Lynch
Size: 6’7 244 lbs
Quick Facts: Paxton Lynch went through some ups and downs in his first year as a starter, throwing nine touchdowns against 10 interceptions and completing just 58 percent of his passes for about 2,000 yards in 2013. He improved greatly as a sophomore, leading his team to a 10-win season and American Athletic Conference championship. He received second team All-AAC honors that season by completing 63 percent of his passes for 3,031 yards and 22 scores. Lynch exploded onto the national scene during his junior year, garnering a Manning Award finalist nod, first team All-ACC honors, and team MVP after leading the Tigers to an 8-0 start before the team struggled down the stretch losing to Navy, Houston, and Temple. During the teams hot streak, Lynch beat SEC foe Ole Miss with a 39-for-53, 386-yard, three-touchdown performance. But the next time he faced a SEC defense, Auburn took him to task in the Birmingham Bowl, forcing him to complete just 16 of 37 pass attempts for a measly 106 yards and an interception. Despite his lack of success in his final bowl game, Lynch comes in at No. 3 on my QB Big Board (behind Wentz and Goff).
- Tall, athletic body
- Strong arm
- ‘Escapability’ within pocket
- Field general (leader on the field)
- Solid footwork
- Huge hands
Analysis: Standing at 6’7 Paxton Lynch is a commanding presence on the football field. He has elite foot quickness for a tall quarterback and can maneuver quickly out of a busy pocket and away from trouble, but desires to keep passing option alive. Sets up in the pocket quickly and generally keeps feet “throw ready”. His arm strength is not considered to be one of the best in this QB class, but it is definitely an NFL-type arm. Lynch showed great leadership qualities on and off the field for the Tigers, and former coach Justin Fuente said Lynch’s role as a team-leader was instrumental in the rise of the football program at Memphis. Throughout his time on campus, Lynch cut down his turnovers and showed maturity with the football in his hands. He went from 16 turnovers in 2014 to just 4 in 2015. His 11-1/2-inch hands were the largest ever measured at the NFL Combine. I am a big believer in hand size especially at the QB position, if your signal caller can’t grip the ball in wet or cold, you will have issues.
- Ball placement-accuracy
- Slow going through progressions
- Looking off defenders
Analysis: Accuracy is Lynch’s biggest downfall at this point in his career. On film and at the combine, Lynch struggled with ball placement, especially when leading receivers. For a dynamic ‘mover’ in the pocket, Lynch did not throw accurately when on the run and could not convert many ‘home-rum’ plays. He doesn’t quite have the quickness through progressions that he will need in the pros and has to learn to move defenders around with his eyes to open throwing lanes. Too often, he would focus on his main target. As I stated previously, Lynch has an NFL-caliber arm, but it is nowhere near the top of this class, which some scouts see as a detriment.
Draft Projection: Mid-to-late 1st round
NFL Comparison: Joe Flacco