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Dynasty Prospect Profile: Paxton Lynch

By Kevin English 10:34am EDT 3/30/16

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Height: 6’7
Weight: 244
Age: 22.2


Combine Results

(Percentile rank among all QBs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com.)

40 Yard Dash: 4.86 (42nd)
Vertical Jump: 36" (91st)
Broad Jump: 9'10" (87th)
3 Cone Drill: 7.14 seconds (41st)
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.26 seconds (67th)


College Career

Lynch wasn’t a major prospect coming out of high school. In fact, it wasn’t until his freshman year that he began playing QB. Why? Lynch simply outgrew his old position (RB).

While his size certainly works in his favor now, Lynch lacked the opportunity to wow FBS recruiters.

"I only threw the ball about 10 times a game," Lynch says of his high school days, via Campusrush.com. "We just didn't have a lot of weapons on the outside."

A knee injury also sidelined him for 5 games during his senior year. That further diminished interest from FBS programs. Lynch ultimately landed at Memphis, where he received tutelage from Andy Dalton’s former college OC and QB coach, Justin Fuente.

Following a predictably slow start to his college career, Lynch soon entered the national radar. In 2014, he set a school record with 3,352 total yards, adding 35 total scores. The following season, he set career highs in completion rate (66.8%) and yards per attempt (8.5).

Over the course of his time at Memphis, Lynch proved he wasn’t just a strong-armed pocket passer. He showed an ability to keenly maneuver a muddled pocket. (Lance Zierlein counted just 15 Lynch sacks among 477 drop backs.) He successfully executed a zone-read attack that gave him plenty of rush attempts: 288 to be exact.

We’ll get to Lynch’s tape -- both good and bad -- in a moment. But first, let’s get some insight from 1 of his former coaches -- plus a pair of scouts.

"There's stuff he doesn't see but, boy, is he a great athlete for a big guy," one scout said via Jsonline.com. "He's got good feet and can make all the throws." His NFL passer rating of 93.5 included 110.6 in 2015. "Big production in a lot of games, so-so in some others," another scout said. "Pretty good athlete for a big kid. Excellent size. He's got a big ceiling. It's a weird group of quarterbacks. None of them are just ready-made and none of them show consistency. They're good, solid starters. None of them are Pro Bowl-caliber type quarterbacks. I would take [Jameis] Winston and [Marcus] Mariota over these guys. No question."

Lynch’s former assistant HC, Darrell Dickey, shed light on another interesting component to his college career.

“We didn’t do a whole lot of checking at the line of scrimmage, no reading blitzes and making protection adjustments, but he’s very capable of doing that,” Dickey said via MMQB.SI.com. “He could give a receiver a different route, but he didn’t have the freedom to do whatever he wanted.”

It’s a bit curious why Lynch didn’t have full control, especially if he was “very capable.” Consider that lack of experience an indication he’s not NFL-ready.


Film study

Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com

Games watched: Missouri State, Cincinnati, USF, Tulsa, Ole Miss, Houston, Temple, Auburn

Memphis’ offense was built on deception and featured an abundance of screen passes. That surely helped boost Lynch’s numbers, but as with all signal callers, the tape is most important for evaluation purposes.

Arm strength

Let’s start with a positive – and perhaps his best one. Sure, Lynch gets a clean pocket here, and he’s not throwing into a tight window. But it’s an NFL-level throw that shows plenty of zip. As Ourlads tracks, Lynch posted the best throwing velocity at the Combine (59 MPH).

There’s a bit more traffic on this throw, which Lynch rips yet again.


Deep Ball

The coverage is solid on this play. But Lynch throws his WR open with excellent ball placement to the outside shoulder. This wasn’t a rarity for Lynch, who posted a 44.9% completion rate on deep targets (21+ yards) last season.


Struggles on the Move

Lynch really struggled in this bowl game vs. Auburn. His final collegiate showing turned up just 106 yards, 0 TDs and 1 pick on 16 of 37 passing. On this play, Lynch falls away from his intended target. As a result, he delivers a barely catchable ball.


Fantasy Impact

Last year, Jameis Winston finished 13th among QBs in fantasy points. Marcus Mariota delivered 5 starter weeks among his 12 games.

It’s a reminder that rookie QBs can make a fantasy impact. But it’s important to understand Lynch isn’t as refined a prospect as Winston or Mariota. Instead, Lynch’s rawness -- and overall skill set -- has triggered comps to Brock Osweiler and Ryan Tannehill.

In our eyes, Lynch -- a possible 1st-rounder -- has the passing tools to succeed. And his sneaky rushing ability could translate to the pros. Just understand that he’ll likely need a year or 2 of seasoning before taking the field. He’s not worth considering until Round 3 of rookie drafts.

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