The NFL Draft is in full swing, as the Denver Broncos and New York Giants have already taken their first picks. But before any of these players even took a snap this season, they were all over the news for not being drafted in order to be on TV games; taking away from other worthy prospects who did get selected higher than them.
The “nfl 2016 draft” is the one that happened in April. The “Paxton Lynch Taken 75 Spots Lower in USFL Draft Than in 2016 NFL Draft” is a story about how Paxton Lynch was taken 75 spots lower than he was in the previous year’s NFL draft.
Paxton Lynch had just turned 22 years old six years ago and was just a few months away from being named the future quarterback of the current Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. On Tuesday, the 28-year-old quarterback was named Shea Patterson’s backup with the Michigan Panthers of the nascent United States Football League.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s probably not what Lynch had in mind when he left Memphis early to seek a professional football career. But, ladies and gentlemen, that is where we are. Lynch was picked with the 101st and last pick of the first day of the USFL Draft, after being the 26th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. But, hey, it’s still a pro football player’s job, isn’t it?
So, how did Lynch end up here? Let’s have a look at it quickly, shall we?
Paxton Lynch was the 26th overall choice in the 2016 NFL Draft and was seen as Peyton Manning’s successor by the Denver Broncos.
In the second quarter of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch recovers his own fumble | Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Lynch forewent his final year of eligibility and entered the 2016 NFL Draft after a successful career at the University of Memphis, where he passed for 8,863 yards and 59 touchdowns against 23 interceptions in three seasons, while also rushing for 687 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-7, 244-pound quarterback was expected to be the third quarterback off the board following Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, who were picked with the top two choices, respectively. The Broncos moved up with the Seattle Seahawks to get Lynch with the 26th selection in the first round after losing Manning to retirement after their Super Bowl 50 triumph.
To put things in context, Lynch was chosen ahead of Derrick Henry and Michael Thomas, to name a few. In addition, he was chosen 109 positions ahead of Dak Prescott.
He only played in five NFL games.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders released Paxton Lynch.
From 2000 through 2019, the quarterbacks who were picked in the first round have the fewest career passing yards.
Paxton Lynch 792 Johnny Manziel 1,675 Tim Tebow 2,422 Dwayne Haskins 2,804 Josh Rosen 2,864 pic.twitter.com/CgHJTBFTu8
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) February 22, 2022
Lynch was given an opportunity to start as a rookie in Denver, but Trevor Siemian, the 250th selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, beat him out. When Siemian went down with a shoulder injury in Week 4 of the 2016 season, he got his first opportunity to play in a regular-season game, completing 14 of 24 passes for 170 yards and a score in a 27-7 win.
In a 23-16 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons, Lynch earned his first NFL start the following week, completing 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. In the contest, he was sacked six times, a club rookie record. When Siemian returned from injury the following week, he was reassigned to the bench. Lynch got another start against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13 after Siemian was sidelined again with an injury, completing 12 of 24 passes for 104 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Lynch hurt his shoulder during the 2017 preseason and didn’t return to the active roster until Week 11. Brock Osweiler, who won Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos but spent the 2016 season with the Houston Texans, has returned to Denver, giving Lynch another another quarterback to contend with. He did, however, start two games and threw for 295 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions on 30 of 45 passing attempts. On December 31, 2017, he made his last appearance against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After Denver’s first preseason game in 2018, Lynch was relegated to third-string and released before the regular season began. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019 after going undrafted in 2018. He was released during final cuts. Following that, he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad. Lynch was elevated to the active roster once, but he never saw the field. Prior to the start of the 2020 regular season, he was released by Pittsburgh.
Lynch’s 792 passing yards are the fewest by a first-round quarterback from 2000 to 2019.
On Day 1 of the USFL Draft, Lynch was the 101st and last player selected.
Lynch signed with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders in June 2021. However, he never played a single regular-season action, as he had done for the previous several years of his NFL career. He was the team’s third-string quarterback and spent the whole season on the bench.
The Texas native recently requested and was granted his release from the team to enter the USFL portal. As his agent explained on Twitter, Lynch thinks it will be easier on his family if he returns to the United States.
The USFL Draft format is extremely fascinating, for those who are unfamiliar with it. Rather of choosing any athlete from the portal, each of the eight teams must choose a player for a specified position in each round. For example, only quarterbacks were eligible for the first round on Tuesday. The Michigan Panthers selected Michigan’s Shea Patterson with the first overall selection.
Edge rushers and defensive ends were selected in rounds 2-4. Offensive tackles were selected in rounds 5-7. Cornerbacks were selected in Rounds 8-11. Only quarterbacks were allowed to compete in the 12th and final round of the day. The Michigan Panthers chose Mr. Paxton Lynch with the 101st and last choice of the day (there were a couple compensatory picks thrown in).
The Tampa Bay Bandits selected Brady White, who was the quarterback at Memphis from 2018 to 2020, at No. 100.
Patterson is expected to be the Panthers’ starting quarterback when the team’s ten-game season begins in April, owing to his links to the state. Lynch has had a rough go of it, but he may get his shot here at some time. Or maybe he will request his release from the Panthers once the new XFL is up and running. Perhaps this is his final chance at a professional football career. All we can do now is wait and watch what happens next.
Sports Reference provided the statistics.
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