Three quarterbacks went in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Brady Quinn thinks one of them landed in a heck of a situation.
“Hands-down,” as Quinn put it — it’s Paxton Lynch, who went 26th overall to the Broncos after John Elway traded up with the Seahawks.
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As opposed to No. 1 pick Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams and No. 2 pick Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“The Broncos are set up better than any team to win another Super Bowl,” Quinn told Newsday at the Empire State Building while on a break from promoting Purina’s Roll Over Hunger campaign. “I mean, look at their quarterbacks last year. Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, they combined for the most interceptions of any team in the league, and they still won the Super Bowl.”
Indeed, it wasn’t the play under center that won the Broncos the Super Bowl, but the play of a stellar defense that gave up the fewest total yards and yards per play while finishing fourth in the league in points allowed per game. The two quarterbacks from that Super Bowl run are gone — Manning (17 interceptions) retired, and and Osweiler (six) signed a $72-million deal with the Texans. The Broncos countered by trading for Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez and were rumored to be in talks of acquiring Colin Kaepernick from the 49ers, but Lynch’s arrival may change that.
“You can potentially put a rookie under center, and he could throw 23, 24 interceptions, and you’re saying, ‘Oh, the defense is good enough where we can still get to the Super Bowl and win,’ ” said Quinn, a former first-round quarterback in 2007. “Now, I’m not trying to make the case where that’s going to win next season. But they don’t have to have stellar quarterback play, so it allows him the opportunity to grow and develop and go through some hard times because the defense is so good.”
It’s expected that Lynch would sit for a season or so to learn the NFL game, which means Sanchez likely would be called upon to manage the offense until Lynch is ready.
“He does need to develop,” Quinn said of Lynch. “There’s just some mental things he needs to tighten up. But he’s in a great situation because he’s with one of the better coaches, and as far as a mentor, you have John Elway and Gary Kubiak. So it’d be hard for me to believe that Paxton Lynch isn’t in the best situation out of any of those three.”