Paxton Lynch isn’t the Broncos’ first, or worst, first-round bust.
At least, Lynch, selected 26th overall in 2016 to presumably follow Peyton Manning, won one game of four as a starter in two seasons – before being unceremoniously dumped on the curb this week.
Tommy Maddox, who was chosen 25th overall in 1992 to ostensibly succeed John Elway someday, lost all four of his starts in two seasons for the Broncos – before being jettisoned.
Lynch may end up as Maddox – becoming a nomadic pro quarterback. Maddox would play for four NFL teams and one team in the XFL (in which he would be named the MVP). Maddox, who was hand-picked by Dan Reeves as an underclassman at UCLA, would have a comeback with the Steelers and started 32 games over five seasons (and usually over former CU QB Kordell Stewart), compiling a 15-16-1 mark.
The oddity of this is: Elway was agitated when Reeves stuck it to him by sticking Maddox on the roster – particularly when one must remember that Elway played another seven years – and won two Super Bowls. The same Elway traded up to draft Lynch and eventually would release Lynch.
The Broncos also dumped two other quarterbacks drafted in the first round by the franchise. And Elway didn’t like either. Jay Cutler, taken No. 11 overall in 2006 (after a trade) by Mike Shanahan, actually was the biggest QB bust of all. He would replace Jake Plummer, who was the quarterback for the Broncos in an AFC Championship Game, and busted, winning only 17 of 37 games as a Broncos starter and not reaching the playoffs in his three seasons.
Elway didn’t care much at all for Tim Tebow, picked in the first round of the 2010 draft by Josh McDaniels. Tebow barely played in his first year, but took over for Kyle Orton in 2011 and helped get the Broncos into the playoffs and to an overtime victory against the Steelers. He was “supposed’’ to be the Broncos’ starter the following season, but Manning was signed, and a day later, Tebow was traded.
As a matter of record, all four quarterbacks the Broncos have drafted in the first round didn’t last long in Denver — three, three, two, two seasons — and had a cumulative sub-.500 record.
The Broncos aren’t alone with first-round flops at quarterback. Also, Brock Osweiler was chosen 57th in 2012, and his flame was extinguished twice. Brady Quinn, drafted 22nd by the Browns in 2007, was a dud in Cleveland, didn’t play in a game in two seasons with Denver and finished his illustrious career in Kansas City in 2012, the same year Tebow was through in the NFL.
What comes around goes down.
Consider 2006, The Year of the Cutler, to 2016, the Year of the Lynch.
Here are several quarterbacks selected in the top 50 that didn’t turn out to be Hall of Fame candidates:
JaMarcus Russell, who heads the list along with Vince Young and Matt Leinart; EJ Manuel and Geno Smith; Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert; Christian Ponder ; Jimmy Claussen and Pat White; John Beck and Kellen Clemens, and Brandon Weeden, who Elway wanted to draft at one point.
And Robert Griffin III. And Johnny Manziel.
For every Deshaun Watson, 12th overall, there are two more like DeShone Kizer, who was selected 40 picks later in 2017.
What did Tommy Maddox and Paxton Lynch have in common? X’s in their names, and both were Busted Broncos' Exes.