Denver Broncos training camp preview: Quarterbacks

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Quarterback Paxton Lynch
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Quarterback Paxton Lynch /
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DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Paxton Lynch
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Paxton Lynch /

Paxton Lynch

Age: 23 – Contract: 3 years remaining ($2,153,704 cap hit)

2016 key stats: 3 games, 49/83 passing (59.0 comp.%), 2 TD, 1 INT

Paxton Lynch was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft in one of the rarest circumstances you will see.

The Broncos were fresh off of a Super Bowl win with no set plan at quarterback going into May. It’s not unprecedented in the NFL that a quarterback will retire after winning a Super Bowl, but the Broncos really had no contingency plan until Lynch came along.

Lynch’s rookie season was filled with struggles, mainly because he was miscast in Gary Kubiak’s offense.

Playing under center was not something Lynch had done much of at all, and it caused his play on the field to suffer as a result.

There were signs of that first round promise when the Broncos let him rip it from the shotgun, but there were also big time issues with Lynch’s accuracy at times, specifically in a game against Jacksonville where he struggled badly.

The move to a shotgun oriented offense has been huge for Lynch, who made major strides at OTAs. The coaching staff has been impressed by his progression, and Lynch himself spoke to the fact that he’s not thinking as much, and is able to go out and do what he does best — play ball.

There are obviously still concerns about Lynch moving forward but his talent is obvious. He has a rocket for an arm, and is extremely athletic for his basketball player size.

Lynch has that competitive fire you love to see in a quarterback, and his job this offseason is to take Trevor Siemian’s job. The Broncos are probably counting on it, as Lynch is someone they are heavily invested in, both contractually and in terms of draft pick capital.

That investment won’t be allowed to go to waste on the sidelines much longer, and it stands to reason that his draft status will play a bit of a factor in the competition this offseason. The Broncos simply need to see what they have, but they aren’t going to just throw him out on the field if he looks like a bum.

Lynch needs to show significant signs of progression at training camp and in the preseason so the coaching staff feels comfortable handing him the keys to the franchise for the 2017 season.