NFL Rookie Watch: Paxton Lynch vs Jared Goff

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Paxton Lynch and Jared Goff could be fighting for best rookie quarterback this fall. (Photo: ESPN-St. Louis)

Which quarterback will have the better rookie year, Denver’s Paxton Lynch or Los Angeles’ Jared Goff? It is presumed that these two rookie quarterbacks are the only two that have the strongest possibility of starting week one and for most of the season.

In Lynch’s case, he has to beat out newly acquired Mark Sanchez in Denver. And on Monday, it was reported that Sanchez tore some ligaments in his left thumb and his timetable of when he will return is unclear. The team thinks Sanchez will be back practicing around the end of OTAs. So in the mean time while Sanchez is recovering, Lynch will be getting more snaps with first team and getting more chemistry with the receivers and get used to the offense. Sanchez’s injury may speed up the nurturing process of Lynch.

But this injury might be the best thing for the Broncos. Lynch is prototype quarterback for Gary Kubiak’s type of offense. Lynch is dual-threat quarterback that can throw it down the field, throw on the run, and make plays out of busted plays. While at Memphis, he threw the deep ball very well. He threw 19 touchdowns and only two interceptions on throws 21 yards down the field.

The zone read game Kubiak loves to play will not be anything new for Lynch. Lynch ran some zone read and zone read option game at Memphis. The zone read option game is something Kubiak really could not run  last year with Peyton Manning under center and Lynch is just as fast as former Bronco quarterback Brock Osweiler. The quarterback play from the Broncos last year was even close to great last year. Manning, the starter for most of the year, led the league in interceptions last year and still won a Super Bowl.

So with the help of a good running game from Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson, wide receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and one of the best defenses in the league, Lynch only has to be decent. I truly think Lynch will be more than decent. The Broncos won’t throw the ball too much and rely on their run game to take the pressure of the rookie quarterback. I could see the quarterback throwing for about 2,800 yards, 20 touchdowns, and under 12 interceptions. Go ahead and add about 300-500 yards on the ground. With Lynch under center for all 16 games, I could see the Broncos going 10-6 and winning the AFC West and again.

And for Jared Goff in LA the team is his to lose. When you are drafted number two in the draft, you are most likely going to start for that team as a rookie and I really think Goff could be an upgrade for the Rams at the quarterback position. I can see Goff beating Nick Foles for the starting quarterback slot for 2016 because Foles had a pretty bad season for the Rams last year.

The Rams will ask a lot out of their quarterback, and I think Goff has some pretty good pieces with the Rams. He has one of the best running backs in the league behind him in Todd Gurley. Two pretty good receivers in Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt, and you can also add fourth round pick Pharoh Cooper in the mix at the slot position. And Goff will also be throwing to Lance Hendricks, one of the league’s top tight ends. Goff will definitely have a lot of opportunities to hook up with those receivers in this pass happy offense. I could easily see Goff throwing for over 3,000 yards, 28 touchdowns, and maybe 14 interceptions. If Goff starts all 16 games, I could see a 7-9 season because their schedule is packed with 2015 playoff teams.

So, I could see a better individual season for Goff, but a better team season for Lynch.

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