At the conclusion of the 2015-2016 NFL season, one thing was extremely apparent for the Los Angeles Rams: they still hadn’t found the answer at quarterback.
And then mock draft season ramped up providing Rams’ fans with a cornucopia of fixes.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network’s Draft Analyst, dropped his very first mock draft in mid-January. In it, he had the Rams take the third QB off the board with the 15th overall pick in Memphis QB Paxton Lynch:
Lynch is very raw, but he has unlimited potential and the Rams are desperate to land a franchise QB.
DJ followed up a month later, in mid-February with his Mock Draft 2.0. In this one, he had the Rams taking....Memphis QB Paxton Lynch.
Lynch would fit nicely alongside a very young offensive nucleus in Los Angeles.
Yesterday, Jeremiah released his third mock draft of the 2016 offseason, and in an effort to freshen things up for the Rams he....nope, wait...he went with
Paxton Lynch (QB, Memphis)
The Rams need to address the QB spot and while very raw, Lynch has a huge upside.
In all three instances, as you’ll find in most mock drafts, the Rams found themselves in a position where the draft’s top two prospects - North Dakota St. QB Carson Wentz and Cal QB Jared Goff - were long gone. Some question whether or not the 2016 NFL Draft has any potential Week 1 starters at the position, though Goff and Wentz appear to be the most likely candidates. After that, many find Lynch to be a developmental-type player that would need time to adjust to the NFL.
And after some of his comments at the NFL Combine, I’m not sure Lynch himself is confident he’ll be ready to go in early September. When asked if he thinks he’s capable of stepping in and being a quarterback right away in the NFL, Lynch had this to say:
I’m not sure what situation I’m going to get put into. I’ll be happy and honored to go wherever I go. And however a team needs to use me, that’s how I’m going to be be. I’ve always been a team guy, you know I’m not about myself. It’s all about giving those other guys the credit. And whatever I need to do to help that team I will do, but if it's coming in and sitting behind a guy I’m still going to compete and push him. That’s how teams get better in my opinion. If it’s a team where I need to start, I’m going to formulate a plan, and stick to that plan, and get to work. But, like I said, right now I’m just focused on helping whatever team I go to.
Paxton, as you’d expect/like to hear, says a lot of the ‘right' things in this interview. It’d be hard to question whether or not he’s a team-player, or his level of selfishness. But it doesn’t lend much in the way of confidence that he’s ready to step in and immediately start winning in the NFL.
It remains to be seen whether or not Paxton Lynch will indeed take the field in Week 1 of the 2016 season. As he mentioned, it’ll depend on the situation he finds himself in. And if that situation is with the Los Angeles Rams, perhaps the better question is whether or not Rams’ QB coach Chris Weinke can actually help Lynch reach his potential, and in a relatively quick manner.