Schwartz: Paxton Lynch Is Gone

"It’s a swing and a miss by Elway," Geoff Schwartz said. "It’s that simple."

The DA Show
August 14, 2018 - 12:30 pm

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In 2016, the Denver Broncos selected Memphis quarterback prospect Paxton Lynch in the first round of the NFL Draft – 26th overall, to be exact. Two years later, Lynch – the heir apparent to Peyton Manning – has been demoted to third string behind Chad Kelly, who was 2017’s Mr. Irrelevant (pick No. 253).

What does this demotion mean for Lynch’s future in Denver?

“It means he’s gone,” former NFL offensive lineman and current NFL analyst Geoff Schwartz said on The DA Show. “They might have to pay him because (he was) a first-round draft pick, but it’s a swing and a miss by Elway. It’s that simple. He drafted a quarterback in the first round who cannot play. Look, Elway, for as great as a quarterback as he was and as great as an executive as he is at bringing in free-agent talent, they’ve kind of missed in the draft on a lot of players.”

Indeed, if not for Denver’s Super Bowl win in February 2016, Elway might be on the hot seat.

“He’s able to buy himself some time,” Schwartz said. “But when you whiff on a first-round prospect, that costs GMs jobs when you whiff on them multiple times. I would be concerned if I were Broncos fans. Luckily you have (Case) Keenum, but after the two years of Keenum, then what do you do? Do you have to go draft another quarterback? Do you bring in another guy in free agency?”

Or do you roll with Mr. Irrelevant, a guy who has never attempted an NFL pass?

“Maybe Kelly is the guy,” Schwartz said. “Maybe Kelly is the future quarterback of the Broncos. But not often are seventh-round draft picks the future of the franchise. Tom Brady is rare. Russell Wilson is rare. Dak Prescott is rare. He dropped because of the DUI and some off-field stuff. Normally your quarterback of the future is the first round. It’s not a seventh-round draft pick. So to rely on Kelly to be your future after Keenum is probably not a smart move.”

While Elway’s draft record leaves much to be desired, he’s excelled at attracting big-name free agents – and getting them to play as a team.

“I think Super Bowls cover up many draft warts,” Schwartz said. “He’s been able to bring in lots of veterans, which has been great. He’s one of the few GMs who’s made kind of the quote-unquote dream team work – where he goes out and gets a Peyton Manning, goes out and gets a DeMarcus Ware, goes out and gets (Aqib) Talib. But just bringing in players to form a dream team, most places can’t do that and it has not worked. He made it work. But now what’s the next transition?”

Time will tell.

The Broncos open the season at home against Seattle on Sept. 9. Kickoff is at 4:25 p.m. ET.