Despite all the work the scouting department put in evaluating, the request to have Baker Mayfield on its Senior Bowl roster, and the interviews and visits, the Denver Broncos opted not to take a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Not just in the first round. At all.
Broncos general manager John Elway said that the team had looked at a couple of quarterback on their board but wanted to go the direction of some other players.
“When it was all said and done and we looked at all the different options and went through all the different scenarios, we felt pretty comfortable with where we are with (quarterbacks) Case (Keenum) and Paxton (Lynch),” Elway said after night one of the draft Thursday after selecting edge rusher Bradley Chubb No. 5 overall.
Elway said by no means is the organization “kicking (Lynch) to the curb,” and that he and 2017 rookie Chad Kelly will compete for the backup spot behind Keenum.
“He can still develop,” Elway said of Lynch after the draft on Saturday. “When we drafted him two years ago, as I said, we knew it was going to take some time.”
However, one of the quarterbacks who competed against Elway on the field during his career, Sirius NFL Radio and NFL on CBS analyst Rich Gannon, told “Schlereth and Evans” on Wednesday he doesn’t know if Lynch will ever develop into an NFL quarterback.
“I don’t anticipate, based on what I’ve seen so far, this guy being a Pro Bowl-caliber player or even a middling starter for six to eight years in our league,” Gannon said. “I just don’t see that from him right now.
“That could change, but he’s got to do something.”
Gannon said Lynch has accuracy issues, doesn’t look comfortable under center, and lacks anticipation. But, perhaps most importantly, the game may be “moving way too fast for him right now.”
“You’ve got to ask yourself, he’s been there now for a couple of years, why hasn’t this guy taken charge of the situation? Why is he not getting more reps? Why does the team not have confidence in him to hand him the football and the reins to the football team?” Gannon said.
“And it tells you, if you read between the lines, that he’s a guy that’s struggling a little bit to find his way but also maybe to handle the volume of information that’s required to play that position.”
Since being selected in the first round of the 2016 draft by the Broncos, Lynch has played in just five games — four starts — compiling a 1-3 record. He’s completed just 61.7 percent of his passes for 792 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Not only that, but Lynch, the team’s top pick from just two seasons ago, will be entering his third offseason without a shot at taking over the starting job.
“If they’re bringing in a guy like Case Keenum and they’re going to make him the starter, I think it tells you all you need to know right now about how they feel about Paxton Lynch,” Gannon said.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
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