It’s not exactly a secret that the NFL loves their Quarterbacks at least 6 foot and 3 inches tall. The reason for this is so he can see over the Offensive Linemen, supposedly.
There are exceptions to the rules in everything and a guy like Russell Wilson will slip through the cracks and actually become very successful. Wilson is 5-11 and that may even be a slight stretch on the tape measure.
Drew Brees could stand on a hardback copy of the old War and Peace book and still barely be over 6 foot tall.
Then, there are the golden boys. Tom Brady is 6-4, 225 and Peyton Manning is 6-5, 230.
Giant Quarterbacks topping 6-5 have been rare in the NFL with the current tallest guy being 6-7 Denver Bronco backup Brock Osweiler. Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens is 6-6. Houston Texans backup Quarterback Ryan Mallett is 6-6 or maybe 6-7, depending on who you ask. He hasn’t logged a lot of playing time because he’s been Tom Brady’s backup until this season when he left the Patriots for the Texans.
Memphis Quarterback Paxton Lynch is currently a sophomore in college. He’s also 6-7 and 230.
Lynch is not like other 6-7 Quarterbacks that have tried to play in college and the NFL. He is on an entirely different level athletically than most 6-7 guys.
Paxton Lynch is from Deltona, Florida and played high school football at Trinity Christian High School. Unfortunately, Lynch missed part of his senior year due to a knee bruise.
Worst thing about all of this early recruiting nonsense is that a lot of kids develop late. Schools are offering kids that are in junior high these days and a lot of times that kid doesn’t develop to be the star that he was projected to be.
Lynch had no offers as a senior in high school, not a single one. Just by chance, Paxton Lynch was invited to play in a Florida High School All Star Game when another player was injured.
Lynch turned out to be the star of the game and was named MVP after throwing for 237 yards and a couple of Touchdowns. Lynch also ran for another and coaches were sent into a frenzy looking around trying to figure out who this tall kid was that had seemingly come out of nowhere.
That drew the interest of Memphis who brought him in for a visit and offered a scholarship which he gladly accepted.
Supposedly, Florida became interested in him and so did the University of Central Florida. But, he stuck with Memphis.
Lynch redshirted his first season in Memphis, and then he started as a redshirt freshman.
He had the expected freshman Quarterback experience throwing for just over 2,000 yards and 9 Touchdowns.
He threw 10 interceptions as Memphis continued with it’s losing ways and finished up their 2013 season at 3-9.
But, there was something different about this Memphis team. First of all, they now had Justin Fuente as their head coach. Then, there was freshman Quarterback Paxton Lynch and Linebacker Tank Jakes.
2014 would be the Memphis Tigers’ year.
It was clear pretty early that this was not the same type team. They destroyed their first opponent which meant absolutely nothing since they played Austin Peay.
It was their first loss of the season that made people somewhat aware of Memphis in 2014.
They traveled to Los Angeles to take on the highly ranked UCLA Bruins. The Bruins won, but it was a 42-35 shootout and Paxton Lynch showed what he was capable of doing.
Lynch threw for over 300 yards and a Touchdown, plus he ran for 27 yards for another score. That’s what makes Paxton Lynch different from the rest of the 6 foot 6 inch and up Quarterbacks, his mobility and that impresses a viewer immediately.
He’s not going to remind anyone of the old Wishbone Quarterbacks with his feet, nor is he Cam Newton. But, Lynch can really move for a big man. The running Quarterback period in the NFL has come and probably will soon be gone, but there will always be a need for a mobile Quarterback that can scramble for a first down occasionally.
Paxton Lynch is 6 foot and 7 inches which makes him even more ideal than the NFL standard and he’s got that arm that NFL teams require, plus a level of mobility of a much shorter man.
The Tigers beat Middle Tennessee State and then they ran into a very hot Ole Miss squad that had the Land Shark defense and they shut down Memphis almost completely winning 24-3. Lynch was held to 81 yards passing in that game.
They rebounded and beat a pretty good Cincinnati team and then lost unexpectedly to Houston. From there, they won out improving their record to the exact opposite of last season with a 9-3 record.
The Memphis Tigers and Paxton Lynch finished up with a win over BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl in Overtime.
The team, led by head coach Justin Fuente completed their turnaround season and Paxton Lynch was a major part of that.
Lynch improved by leaps and bounds this season throwing for 3,031 yards and 22 Touchdowns. He still had 9 Interceptions which should come down next season, plus 6 of the 9 Interceptions came in two games.
Running from the Quarterback position, Lynch had 321 yards and 13 Touchdowns.
Growing up right under the noses of the Florida Gators, they instead of taking Paxton Lynch, they took Skylar Mornhinweg from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mornhinweg has played very little and will probably be gone from the team before next season. Everybody makes recruiting mistakes in evaluations, so it’s hard to blame Will Muschamp with this mistake. But, the Florida Gators with Paxton Lynch at Quarterback could have been dangerous. Mornhinweg was a 4 star recruit and Lynch was not even rated.
Paxton Lynch may be the first Quarterback over 6’6″ to make it big, and he may be the leader for others to come as well.
Albuquerque, New Mexico has a 6’7″ Quarterback that was recruited by all of the big schools including Alabama and Tennessee of the SEC and he committed to the Texas Longhorns. Zach Gentry is listed at 6 foot 7 inches and he probably runs even faster than Lynch.
Gentry threw the football 74 yards at the University of New Mexico football camp and proved it wasn’t a fluke by throwing it 73 yards at the Louisville Quarterback camp.
I’m not saying the Quarterback of the future will be 6-7, 240 and up, but I am saying that there is room for all sized Quarterbacks and there may be a few coming up that break the mold of the prototype NFL guy.
Watch for junior Paxton Lynch of Memphis next season.