Gruden's QB camp: Jordan Lynch

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
9:54
AM ET
For a second straight year, the player who placed third in the Heisman Trophy voting will head to the NFL draft with major concerns about his future as a quarterback.

In 2012, it was Collin Klein of Kansas State, who tried out for the Texans last spring as an undrafted free agent but was ultimately cut.

The 2013 third-place finisher was Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, whose record-setting career with his legs does not provide much security for his prospects at the next level.

He’ll get his turn with Jon Gruden in "Jon Gruden's QB Camp" series on ESPNU at 6 p.m. ET Monday.

His rushing ability
Before the 2013 season, no FBS quarterback had gained 300 yards rushing in one game. Lynch did it twice last season, gaining 319 yards at Central Michigan on Oct. 19 and besting that mark on Nov. 26 with 321 yards against Western Michigan.

In 2012, Lynch set the FBS record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 1,815. He broke his own record last season, finishing with 1,920 yards on the ground, trailing only Boston College tailback Andre Williams for most among FBS players.

Lynch's versatility put him in a very special group: He became the fifth player ever to finish a season with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 20 passing touchdowns.

But in the three games Lynch played against top-15 defenses over the last two seasons, his legs failed him.

In bowl games against Florida State (2012) and Utah State (2013) and in a nonconference game at Iowa last season, he rushed 63 times for only 139 yards.

His passing
Lynch’s rushing prowess didn’t detract from his passing duties. He attempted 404 passes last season, one more than Baylor’s Bryce Petty, after attempting 394 passes in 2012.

Scouts have pointed to the year-over-year improvements of players such as Johnny Manziel and Zach Mettenberger as a promising development toward an NFL career.

Lynch’s passing numbers did not improve during his senior year; if anything, they took a slight dip, as the chart on the right shows.

His yards per attempt dropped from 8.0 to 7.2, which put him 70th in the nation in that category. Just 53 percent of his passes resulted in either a first down or touchdown, 90th in the FBS. Plainly speaking, he was an average passer.

Position change?
Lynch measured just above 6 feet tall and 217 pounds at the combine. Only two starting quarterbacks in the NFL last season were listed at 6 feet or shorter: Russell Wilson and Drew Brees.

Though Lynch has said that he is “a quarterback first,” he did go through defensive back drills at Northern Illinois' pro day.

If a position change is in his future, there is precedent. Brad Smith, Julian Edelman and Denard Robinson made NFL rosters after switching from quarterback, and though Lynch may lack the speed or athleticism those players possess, his sub-4.5-second 40 time at his pro day could be enough to warrant at least a training camp invite.

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