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2016 NFL mock draft: Denver Broncos finish 1st round with Paxton Lynch

The first round of the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft comes to a close with a splashy quarterback pick.

Here we are to close out the first round of the 10th annual SB Nation NFL writers mock draft. What better way to finish the first round than with a big splashy pick? That's what we get courtesy of Scotty Payne of Mile High Report. The Broncos lost their top two quarterbacks this offseason after winning the Super Bowl. Considering who is available, this pick shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

31. Broncos: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Payne: This pick just makes too much sense, and would probably be a dream scenario for General Manager John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

After defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the Broncos lost quarterback Peyton Manning to retirement and the Houston Texans overpaid for Brock Osweiler. This left the Broncos without a starting quarterback for the 2016 season. Since then they traded for Mark Sanchez and have kicked the tires on Colin Kaepernick. If the Broncos do not acquire Kaepernick from the 49ers, Lynch is the next best option for them.

I think Lynch would fit perfectly on the Broncos and into Gary Kubiak’s offense. The Broncos still have a great defense to carry Lynch, and the run game should improve this season after the improvements to the Broncos offensive line.

Now if the Broncos were to trade for Kaepernick this would change the Broncos draft plans. I would have them selecting a defensive lineman like Chris Jones, or possibly pairing Derrick Henry with C.J. Anderson in the Broncos backfield.

Analysis: In a mock draft without trades, it's hard to find a home for Lynch if he falls past the New York Jets at No. 20 overall. The Denver Broncos are the most obvious landing spot -- and that's regardless of whether or not Kaepernick is brought in. The most natural comparison for Lynch is actually former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler. Coming out of Arizona State several years ago, Osweiler's biggest flaws were his pocket presence and footwork, the same negatives as Lynch. Their strengths -- a powerful arm, a big and lanky frame, good athleticism -- are similar as well. Unlike Osweiler's career in Denver, though, Lynch's ascension to the starting job would have to be accelerated. Whether or not he's suited for that is the great unknown with this pick.

Dan's Top 5 players remaining

  • 15. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
  • 20. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
  • 24. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
  • 26. Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
  • 30. Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

Broncos picks

  • 1-31: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
  • 2-62: (coming April 22)

Oh, we're not doing just one round. We'll be back at noon ET to start the second round with the Cleveland Browns and a pick from Dawgs By Nature.

Complete draft results:

1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo Bills - Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama (Link)
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State (Link)
21. Washington - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor (Link)
22. Houston Texans - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Link)
23. Minnesota Vikings - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Link)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (Link)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - William Jackson, CB, Houston (Link)
26. Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida (Link)
27. Green Bay Packers - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (Link)
28. Kansas City Chiefs - Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (Link)
29. Arizona Cardinals - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss (Link)
30. Carolina Panthers - Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson (Link)