The Memphis junior, who completed 66.8% of his passes for 3,776 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2015, could be standing tall in the pocket next season as the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft.
DAN PATRICK:How tall are you?
PAXTON LYNCH: I'll have to get my dad to get the tape measure.
DP:Is your dad there?
PL: Yes, my dad is standing here.
DP:Are you going to go barefoot?
PL: That's the real way to measure it, so I guess we will.
DP:I guess we'll have to trust your dad.
PL: My dad has the tape measure out. We get this question quite a lot. I've got the shoes off right now.
DP:What's it say?
PL: Just under 6'7".
DP:With spikes, you're over 6'7". [Broncos backup quarterback] Brock Osweiler [6'8"] told me he was once worried that if he [said he] was 6'8", people would think he couldn't play the position. Are you hearing you can be too tall as a quarterback?
PL: No, I've never heard that. I don't see anything wrong with it, except most tall guys aren't really that athletic.
DP:Are you athletic?
PL: I'd like to think so, yes.
DP:Are you deceptively athletic?
PL: Definitely. I've heard that term all too often in my playing career.
DP:What does "deceptively athletic" even mean?
PL: If you saw me walk out onto the football field, most people wouldn't expect me to move around the way I move around.
DP:Who have you been compared to?
PL: Obviously people have compared me to Brock Osweiler just because of the height. I read some stuff about [6'5"] Ben Roethlisberger as well.
DP:Did you always play quarterback?
PL: No. When I first started, I played running back. I played running back through Pop Warner. My freshman year [at Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona, Fla.] my coach wanted to bump me up to varsity and play quarterback. I told him I had never played quarterback before, but he said, "You're too tall to play running back. You're gonna have to play quarterback eventually."
DP:How many scholarship offers did you have?
PL: Coming out of high school, I had offers from Bethune-Cookman and FAMU. Memphis offered me [a scholarship] the last weekend before signing day. On the morning of signing day, Central Florida called, but I had already made my decision. I only had offers from two D-I [FBS] schools.
DP:You would have been extremely, deceptively athletic at those [non-FBS] schools.
PL: I'd like to think so. [Laughs.]
Alabama coach Nick Saban told me he doesn't have the itch to return to the NFL. "I think that there was a time for me, and that's when I went to the Dolphins [from 2005 to '06]," Saban said. "I did that and learned a lot about myself and about some of the things that are difficult to change in the NFL." ... Former NFL guard and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth took issue with Peyton Manning's play-calling. "Everything he calls at the line of scrimmage irritates me," Schlereth said. "When you sit in your stance [on the line] for 25 seconds, it creates a situation where you lack aggression." ... Hall of Fame WR James Lofton shared the key to Larry Fitzgerald's success: "Remember when we were 13 and we thought we were faster than our dad, but he just outmuscled us at every turn? That's Larry Fitzgerald. He [simply] outmuscles guys at every turn."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
JOE MURPHY/GETTY IMAGES (LYNCH)
DON JUAN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES (SABAN)
STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (SCHLERETH)
GETTY IMAGES (LOFTON)