Trevor Siemian is once again the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Siemian put himself head and shoulders above Paxton Lynch in the preseason, and now Lynch will spend another year on the bench, costing the team money and a roster spot, while trying to learn a system and better his horrendous quarterbacking abilities.
It’s all for naught though, as Lynch will most likely be cut by next training camp.
Lynch, in his two preseason games of his second year, completed 15 of 21 passes for 81 yards and zero touchdowns, good for a QB rating of 74.2. Compare this to no-longer-on-the-team rookie Kyle Sloter, who went 13 of 12 for 144 yards and 1 touchdown, good for a QB Rating of 138.5. Lynch also regularly failed the eye test. His behavior included abandoning plays early to scramble, staring down receivers, and completely missing targets.
In his second year, Lynch found himself lost in training camp, throwing interceptions regularly and being outperformed by Siemian, and sometimes even Sloter. His large, slow throwing motion resembles that of Tim Tebow, starting wide and pointing the ball downward, telegraphing the direction he’s going before snapping his arm up and forward. Compare this to Siemian, whose motion resembles Peyton Manning with a quick up-and-forward release and next-to-no telegraphing.
There’s speed and power in Lynch’s arm, but that won’t matter when a cornerback steps in front of the receiver that Lynch has stared down on his entire route and takes it back the other way. Lynch seems lost on the playing field, often failing to diagnose defenses or go through his progressions.
Let’s not forget that he still isn’t used to taking snaps from under center. Coming out of Memphis, Lynch is still used to a spread offense and still seems extremely uncomfortable when asked to do anything, even handoff the ball, from anywhere except shotgun.
Does this mean Siemian deserves to be the long-term solution for Denver? Not necessarily. Siemian is the starter this year, but he also needs to improve on a 9-7 effort from last year, which came with a terrible offensive line and a separated shoulder. Otherwise, his future in Denver is in question as well.
Next offseason brings the NFL a powerhouse class of free agent quarterbacks. The Broncos could look at bringing in Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo for a more veteran and tested answer. There’s also the possibility of bringing in an aging Drew Brees and hoping lightning strikes twice, however Brees’ contract situation is currently murky.
Options are also available in the 2018 draft as well. Sam Darnold out of the University of Southern California is currently being prospected as a top five draft picks. Josh Allen from the University of Wyoming is also being considered one of the top quarterback prospects, and probably drafted within the top ten picks.
Lynch has one more year before the goodwill of being a first-round pick wears off on the coaching staff. Next training camp will require some major changes in his game to still be considered worth working with. Unfortunately for Lynch, a throwing motion and ability to read defenses, as we learned with Tebow, is very difficult to change.