2016 NFL draft: Chiefs quarterback search

2 of 15

The Prospects:  As my baseline, I always use (and wholly recommend) CBS Prospect Rankings.  As with any source, they aren’t 100 percent accurate, but Dane Brugler and Rob Rang are fantastic at what they do.  The best part is that they breakdown the entire field of the draft class, and cover most of the prospects from a very early point.  They have been following most of the players for years now and have a good jump on the scouting process.  This doesn’t mean I agree with them on everything.  You will be able to see certain spots where I clearly go off of my own opinion rather than theirs, but overall I believe them to be a quality source for anyone wanting more information.

It is early in the evaluation process.  Very early, in fact.  The final big board won’t look much like the current one, but we can still get at least some idea of how the class is shaping up.  Below, I have put together a list of all the quarterback prospects for the 2016 class that are currently ranked in the CBS top 100 (listed by their overall ranking in the draft class).  While not spectacular, this draft class does offer a number of intriguing options.

Paxton Lynch of Memphis is the current “hype king” of college quarterbacks. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

1 (#3 overall): Paxton Lynch – Memphis – rJr (6’6 – 230 lbs):  Lynch is the current “hype king” of the 2016 quarterback class.  Many of the media scouts are high on him right now as his numbers have been very impressive.

Lynch comes from a spread offense, and hasn’t played against much quality talent.  Right away that serves as a warning flag for me.  While there is a lot to like about what Memphis is doing right now, there is a clear difference between the college game and the pro game.  The spread looks we see at the NCAA level have not translated to NFL success.  And the fact that he is coming out of one of the lesser college conferences leaves me very wary of the stats he has posted.  It wasn’t that long ago that Colt Brennan was putting up record numbers.

Paxton Lynch does carry an ideal frame for the position.  His height allows him to easily scan the field for the open man.  He also has excellent accuracy and ball placement, along with a quality touch that allows him to put the ball where only his guy will get it.  Lynch is also an excellent athlete with the mobility to escape the pocket when he needs to to either extend the play or pick up yards.

On the negative side, Lynch’s mechanics are not NFL-caliber.  While he could go early in the first round, it would be a surprise if he were to immediately be named a starter.  Another concern is that he will not be in a similar offense at the NFL level.

The Memphis offense runs a lot of quick-hitter routes designed more for YAC than anything.  Though that does translate decently to Andy Reid’s offense, it isn’t necessarily what you want in a prospect.  There is also the lack of competition.  The biggest mark against Lynch is the fact that we haven’t really seen him play against anyone.  Evaluators will take note of that.

Next: The best prospect in the class?