In 2016, Denver Broncos GM John Elway traded up to take Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. Though Lynch has often been injured and has started three games in his career, looking fairly unproductive along the way, Elway still appears happy with his pick.
Most recently, Lynch got the start against the Oakland Raiders. He threw an interception in the end zone, which was the first pick the Raiders got all season. He also was only on pace for under 100 yards of total offense. Then he hurt his ankle and was replaced by Trevor Siemian. The Broncos lost, 21-14.
It was uninspiring for most, but Elway praised Lynch on Tuesday.
“I thought he started pretty good,” Elway said, per Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Public and Community Relations Patrick Smyth. “For the first start, I thought he did a nice job. I was proud of his toughness staying in there [with his high-ankle sprain].”
That’s his first start in 2017, not in his career. Lynch was part of the quarterback competition to start this year, lost the job to Siemian, and then hurt his throwing shoulder. With the playoffs basically out of reach, the Broncos decided to start him when he finally got healthy. The result was yet another loss and another injury that will keep him out for two weeks to a month. That may effectively end his season.
The Broncos need to figure out if Lynch is the quarterback of the future before the draft. It sounds like Elway still supports him, which will make the Broncos approach to the draft very interesting to watch – especially if Lynch doesn’t touch the field again and tape remains very limited.