From the moment the Denver Broncos traded up to draft former Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch in the first round, the clock on Mark Sanchez’s time in Denver started ticking. Without taking a single snap in Denver, Lynch will grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s May 9th edition and the buzz has already begun.
On May 4, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post joined Gil Whiteley to discuss the possibility of Paxton Lynch taking the starting quarterback job next season.
“You can make the argument, and people certainly will, that Paxton Lynch, for any number of reasons, isn’t quite ready to be an NFL quarterback,” Kiszla said. “But he is the most talented quarterback on this roster. History tells you that if a quarterback gets drafted in the first round, there’s a pretty good possibility that he’s going to play in his first year.”
Indeed, in 2015 the two quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, were both starters Week 1. The year before that, three quarterbacks were taken in the first round — Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater — and all three of them started at some point in the season; Derek Carr, who was drafted in the second round, was starting by Week 2.
In fact, of the 26 first-round quarterbacks selected in the last decade, only two of them didn’t start a single game as a rookie — Jake Locker and Brady Quinn — and that sure didn’t help them turn into a superstar.
The question isn’t if but when Lynch will step in for Sanchez. Due to the difficulty of the schedule early in the season, Kiszla said that six games into next season would be the perfect opportunity for Lynch to step in.
“That to me, October 24, is the first real chance that you can see Paxton Lynch in there, if not October 24, at thanksgiving a month later, after the bye week. If Paxton Lynch is the franchise quarterback that John Elway thinks he is, he’ll be ready to be a starting quarterback in this league.”
Though Sanchez has been doing everything within his power to position himself as Denver’s quarterback, no one seems convinced.
“In any NFL town, but in particular Denver, Broncos fans expect to be in the Super Bowl every year and nothing but total excellence from their quarterback, and that applies whether you’re Mark Sanchez or Peyton Manning,” Kiszla said. “I have nothing against Mark Sanchez accept I don’t think you have any real chance to go back-to-back with him at quarterback.”
Listen to the full discussion in the podcast below…