The Dallas Cowboys aren’t officially eliminated from the playoffs, but with Matt Cassel starting, the hope for the Cowboys to get into the postseason may simply just not be realistic. It’s been a horrible season for Cowboys fans everywhere, but Inside The Star will continue to give you its best draft coverage. Today, I’ll officially be starting my film reviews, starting with Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.
I have the Cowboys finishing the year with a 4-12 record. This means that Dallas will likely finish with a top-6 draft pick. And if the Cowboys do indeed get a top-6 pick, maybe this is finally the year where the Cowboys pull the trigger and get their heir apparent to Tony Romo. A guy like Lynch is raw, but he has some intangible traits that could make him a budding superstar.
At 6-foot-7, 245 pounds, Lynch is an extremely intriguing prospect. He comes from a system led by Justin Fuentes, a system that’s known for coming out of the shotgun. Also in this system, there are a lot of short passes. Because of this, it’s hard to project his NFL ceiling. Without further adieu, let’s dive into some live game-tape from Lynch.
The first throw that stood out to me when I put on the game tape was this touchdown throw against Cincinnati. Granted, the touchdown was more on his receiver than him, but the touchdown wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this beautiful throw:
In this throw, the cornerback has decent coverage on the receiver. But, Lynch does an excellent job at dropping the football just over the cornerback’s shoulder into his receiver’s arms. The fade route is extremely popular in the NFL and this throw is a prime example of how Lynch can be successful at the next level.
The next throw will be on how Lynch reacts when he’s under pressure. This is a play that will be tougher to make in the NFL, but his athleticism as well as his ball placement are extremely impressive here:
The thing I love about this throw is that Lynch puts the football in a place where only his receiver can get to it.
There are a ton of great things to love about Lynch. One of those is his arm strength. However, there are times where Lynch uses this against himself. In the next throw, we see how Lynch guns the football to his wide-open receiver rather than softly getting him the football:
This play speaks magnitudes, as it came on 4th down in a play where Memphis needed a first or else they’d give the ball to Cincinnati with good field position.
We talk often about how clutch a quarterback is. In this next throw, Lynch makes probably his best throw of the game, basically a better version than the first throw on this list:
For a person of Lynch’s stature, you would think that he has struggle extending the plays, but Lynch is athletic enough to make plays outside of the pocket. On 3rd & 16, Lynch breaks away from a collapsing pocket to find his receiver:
Going back to his arm strength issues, because Lynch trusts his arm a lot, he leaves question for his decision-making. This throw is one that can’t be made in the NFL:
Perhaps the biggest problems with Lynch are his mechanics as well as his footwork. The arm strength is there and his decision-making, albeit not amazing, is not that bad either. His release is a bit high and it’s not a quick one, the main reason for that simply being his size.
How does Lynch fit in Dallas? In my opinion, Lynch is the best quarterback in this draft class. As of now, I have him above Jared Goff and the main reason why is because of their play-making ability. I can’t stress how raw Lynch is, but the potential is there for the Cowboys to get a real good football player. If Dallas does go quarterback in Round 1, drafting Lynch and letting him sit and develop behind Romo makes a ton of sense for the future.
We’ve seen how unreliable Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden have been throughout the 2015 season. If Romo does get injured again, the Cowboys should look forward to starting their future asset in Lynch rather than a marginal backup like Cassel or Weeden.
Games watched: Memphis and Ole Miss
Next up on the docket: Jared Goff