ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In any given practice, Paxton Lynch will have the best pass thrown by any Broncos quarterback — and the worst, as well. Sometimes these extremes will come within moments of each other.
During Tuesday’s work, that concept was on display. In a seven-on-seven period, Lynch made perhaps his worst throw during any of the open-to-media practices this spring, telegraphing a short pass into the right flat that Taurean Nixon jumped on and easily turned into a long touchdown return.
But on the next play, Lynch bounced back with what he does best — go deep. He hit Cody Latimer up the right sideline for a long touchdown. After a pass-interference call wiped out an incompletion, he did it again, hitting tight end Austin Traylor in stride past a pair of defenders for a long reception.
Lynch’s ability to hit downfield targets in stride was one of the characteristics that set him apart during his college career at Memphis. And although his deep attempts during a start last December at Jacksonville fell woefully short, it appears as if he has found his downfield touch once again.
The risk of incompletion on these passes is greater, of course. But the chances of one of those deep shots turning into a pick-six is minimal. The risk-reward ratio for Lynch looking deep could be right for plenty of stretch-the-field chances if he seizes the starting job.
“Me, personally, coming from Memphis, we took a lot of shots downfield, so I know whenever I get my chance to take my shot deep, I’m going to be looking there first,” Lynch said. “I think I’m doing a better job this year at if it’s not there deep, checking it down and being consistent.”
–First-round pick Garett Bolles looks like he’s headed for the starting lineup — sooner rather than later.
Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said he wanted Bolles to earn his spot on the first team at left tackle. And while the Utah product isn’t all the way there, he’s reached the point where he is splitting time with veteran Ty Sambrailo on the No. 1 offense.
“It’s a tough spot to play as a rookie, and it takes a lot of football IQ to play that spot in the NFL,” Joseph said. “When he knows what to do, he can block his guy. His talent shows. The ultimate issue is knowing what to do and how to do it, but he’s a first-round pick for a reason. He’s a talent.”
His teammates can see it.
“He’s got the right mentality and he’s stacking some good days together,” Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian said. “I think that’s important for all of us. That’s what we really want to do. He’s learning. He’s not making the same mistake twice a lot of times, which is good. I think he’s special and he’s got a really bright future.”