Round 1 (#28)
Paxton Lynch – QB – Memphis
Strengths: Tall frame with room to add bulk. Shows surprising athleticism in and out of the pocket. Moves well in the pocket and can manipulate it to buy time or open a throwing lane. Comfortable throwing on the move whether in designed plays or scrambling. Decent arm strength to make all the throws on the field.
Very comfortable with an active screen game. Makes good, quick, reads and progressions. Doesn’t make a lot of mental mistakes. Feels pressure well and understands how to manipulate to buy more time. High football IQ and strong work ethic.
Weaknesses: Needs to work on firmly setting his base on a consistent basis. Needs to work on his footwork to build consistency. Often trusts too much in his arm. Throwing motion could be more direct. Needs to improve his internal clock to avoid unnecessary sacks. Despite high football IQ, inexperienced in making play calls.
The Fit: This move makes it clear that the Chiefs intend to move on from Alex Smith at the completion of his current contract, or perhaps sooner depending on Lynch’s development and Smith’s health/production. Lynch would be the unquestioned QBOTF. Taken at No. 28 though, there wouldn’t be much pressure on the team to put him on the field immediately.
There are some legitimate concerns (that I share) regarding his technique. However, it seems to be commonly agreed upon that the QB coaching at Memphis is less than ideal, and that Lynch has the football smarts to pick up on NFL coaching quickly. With a couple of years to play behind Alex Smith, and the tutelage of Andy Reid, Lynch should be ready to take over the reigns by 2018 and help keep the team winning for the long-term future. A move like this builds continuity across a major position change and can help a winning team become a top tier franchise.
Next: Chiefs Bolster The Secondary