Detroit Lions Draft: A Quarterback for Every Round

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First Round: Paxton Lynch

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most intriguing talents in this draft class–presuming the junior declares for entry–Paxton Lynch might not even last to where the Lions pick. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has the Memphis signal caller going No. 1 overall in his latest mock.

Lynch is a 6’7”, 245-pound slinger in the athletic mold of a Cam Newton or Ben Roethlisberger. He is big, tough, and athletic; the Tigers had him run the read-option at times, and he had over 40 designed QB runs in his fantastic 2015.

He impressed ESPN’s Mel Kiper, the Patron Saint of Draft Media:

"Nobody is saying he’s a sure thing, and I really think he could use time on an NFL bench before he’s ready to start games, but he has elevated his stock and plays well enough against good defensive competition. He was not projected as a possible top-10 pick before the year started. Not even close."

Why does he need developmental time? The Memphis offense was full of short overload routes, quick screens and lots of horizontal to set up the vertical. In other words, not the most conducive training for most NFL offenses (though ironically perfect for Joe Lombardi). His is still fine-tuning his mechanics, little things like pointing his toes symmetrically and keeping the ball up instead of dropping his elbow on the windup.

It’s hard for many fans to delay draft gratification for a year on a first-round pick. Optimally, Lynch wouldn’t play a down until 2017 at the earliest and more likely 2018. Taking Lynch in the first round is a long-term investment, the sort of thing Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers or Denver did (in the second round) with Brock Osweiler. If he proves ready to play sooner, that presents options too. His ceiling is the highest of any passer in this draft class.

Next: Carson Wentz