Let’s imagine it’s Thursday, April 28th. The 2016 NFL Draft is officially underway.
Jalen Ramsey is off the board and the Cowboys are on the clock. You’re biting your fingernails waiting for what Roger Goodell will say as he approaches the podium.
“With the fourth overall pick in the 2016 Draft the Dallas Cowboys select, Paxton Lynch.”
Paxton Lynch, out of the University of Memphis, is 6’7” weighing 245 pounds. He’s a big guy, bigger than Romo who is 6’2” weighing 230 pounds. As big as he is, he can maneuver quite quickly out of a crowded pocket while still looking to make a pass. He shows he can read a defense and make smart decisions but still not quite at a pro level. He may need some time to transition and develop, but his size, athleticism, arm taken and field vision could be the ingredients for a successful NFL QB.
Whether you are a fan of Paxton Lynch or not, the better question is: do you want the Cowboys to draft a quarterback fourth overall, as unlikely as it may seem and as much as you may not want a QB that early in the draft?
2016 may be the year for it. With the window presumably closing on Tony Romo and a rare fourth-overall pick to work with on Thursday, the Cowboys have to strongly consider this as an opportunity to find their future QB.
There are other teams that pick after the Cowboys who probably have their eyes set on a QB. The 49ers, the Browns, the Jets and the Broncos are all looking for a quarterback, therefore the Cowboys could possibly have a nice bargaining chip if they draft one.
But there is no sure fire way to go about drafting a QB. For every Peyton Manning there is a Ryan Leaf. Chad Pennington was taken twelfth overall the same year Tom Brady was taken 166th. And then there are drafts like 2004 that had Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger all in the first round. But, in 2006, Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn were the first-rounders.
With Jared Goff and Carson Wentz going first and second, and Paxton Lynch (as I’ve proposed) drafted fourth, could the 2016 NFL Draft be like the 2004 NFL Draft? It’s impossible to tell because nothing is guaranteed, especially when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. It doesn’t matter how high your pick is or how highly a player is touted – it’s a gamble either way and there’s a chance that the fourth overall pick could be squandered.
Besides, Tony Romo has said he has four to five years left of play in him. If the Cowboys agree with that statement, then a QB probably won’t be their pick at four. It is more likely the Cowboys trade back into the first and snag a QB if they really want one.
It seems like drafting a QB fourth overall would come out of left field, especially with all this talk of addressing the defense in the first round. It would be a good idea to expect the unexpected in the draft. That “unexpected” could be from the University of Memphis.