ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Proving he is indeed a man of his draft word, John Elway had said in recent weeks the Denver Broncos weren’t done adding quarterbacks and he liked some of the big-armed passers on this draft board. And Thursday night Elway decided he saw the quarterback he wanted, when the team traded two draft picks to move up five spots in the first round to select University of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch with the No. 26 pick.
My take: At 6-foot-6, 244 pounds, Lynch is exactly the big-framed type of quarterback Elway likes. It was one of the reasons the team selected 6-7 Brock Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 draft.
Lynch is likely not ready to play as a rookie. But, the Broncos don’t need him to play and can give Lynch the expected time needed to acclimate himself into the league. Lynch didn’t play under center all that much in his career with Memphis and worked in a no-huddle attack that didn’t ask him to throw the ball down the field very often.
He’ll need to adjust to the Broncos’ scheme, but he has the mobility to eventually run the team’s play-action attack. The Broncos also believe Lynch has the kind of arm strength to power the ball down the field and he simply wasn't afforded the opportunity to do it all that much. Lynch's pro day workout was proof.
One for the future: One of the concerns scouts had with Lynch in pre-draft meetings was his demeanor. They aren't sure he has the assertiveness to be the potential face of the franchise. But the Broncos believe Lynch will have the time he needs to grow into the job. The Broncos like what Mark Sanchez can do in the offense and have said throughout the offseason they are prepared for him to be the starter. Much like Osweiler, who waited over three seasons to make his first regular-season start, the Broncos can groom Lynch in what coach Gary Kubiak has called "the right way."
More on the way? Elway said Thursday night Lynch’s addition doesn’t mean the Broncos are finished adding quarterbacks to the roster. Shortly after the Broncos had completed the deal to reel in Lynch, Elway said, “We’re going to continue to look at other quarterbacks. ... We’ll stay open to everything."
But, Elway closed the door on a trade for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick had visited with Broncos officials before the draft and they made an offer that included the 49ers paying part of Kaepernick’s salary this season. Additionally, Kaepernick would have taken a pay cut in 2017. "We’re probably over with Kaepernick," Elway said.
What’s next: The Broncos sent the 94th pick overall, along with the first rounder, to the Seahawks to get in position to select Lynch. That means they have two picks Friday night, one in the second round (64th overall) and one in the third (98th overall). The Broncos will be on the hunt for defensive help, including in the defensive line and at linebacker. And they’ll take a look a fairly big group of safeties in the draft’s second day.