Could a surprise choice emerge as the Steelers backup QB in 2020?

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Paxton Lynch
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Paxton Lynch /

Could Paxton Lynch emerge as the backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Before Paxton Lynch landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, he was supposed to be the next great franchise quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

Drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Broncos, Lynch came into the league as a pretty raw prospect. But he had the size (6-foot-7, 244 pounds) that teams dream of when scouting young quarterbacks.

For whatever reason though, Lynch was only able to last two seasons in Denver before the team realized he wasn’t a good fit for them. After he failed to win the backup job with the Seattle Seahawks last year, the Steelers decided to give him one more shot last September when they signed him to their practice squad.

Does Paxton Lynch have a chance to be the No. 2 QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Lynch is still only 26-years-old, but he’s running out of time to prove he has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. As one of five signal-callers on the Steelers’ current roster, it seems like he’s heading into an uphill battle to avoid being cut before the start of the 2020 regular season.

The best thing going for Lynch might be the fact that the guys who are apparently in front of him on the depth chart aren’t the most talented quarterbacks in the world either.

With Ben Roethlisberger injured, Mason Rudolph had his opportunity to be a starter for eight games last season and he didn’t display anything on the field that should make him the obvious choice as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 quarterback for 2020.

Devlin Hodges had a few fun moments last year, but he didn’t do much either to show that he’s ready to take over as the Steelers’ starter under center if Roethlisberger goes down again for a significant amount of time during the upcoming season.

Lynch never got an opportunity to start when he was on Pittsburgh’s active roster last season, so no one was able to see if he was a good fit for the team’s offense or not. But the fact that the Steelers have kept him around this year should say a lot about their feelings regarding the young quarterback.

Coming out of college, Lynch was praised for having a strong arm and a great ability to throw the ball deep. Pittsburgh is a place where he could definitely put that arm to use, especially with someone like Chase Claypool being added to the mix of receivers this year.

Lynch has struggled with staying healthy during his time in the NFL and he tends to take a lot of sacks. But this could have also be the product of the offensive scheme he was playing in.

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Is Lynch a long shot to win the Steelers No. 2 quarterback job for 2020? Probably, but Pittsburgh has kept him around for a reason and maybe that reason is to open the upcoming season as Roethlisberger’s backup.