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2020 NFL Draft

At Pro Day, a more polished Paxton Lynch shows off workmanlike attitude

In what's become something of a duel between Jared Goff and Carson Wentz to be the top quarterback in this year's NFL Draft class, Paxton Lynch is out to prove that he belongs in that conversation.

"This is my opportunity to show why I'm the best quarterback in the draft," Lynch told

On Wednesday, the 6-foot-7 signal caller tried to do just that at Memphis' Pro Day, throwing a combination of passes — including some pretty deep balls — on a windy afternoon.

"I basically scripted it and (the coaches) kind of gave me some ideas. I was putting it together but they gave me some ideas of what coaches are going to want to see but I really wanted to come out here and challenge myself with some deeper throws," Lynch told NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock in a sit-down interview following the event.

"I know it got pretty windy out here, but I just took it as a challenge … I didn't want to come out here and throw some conservative routes. I want to compete all the time at the highest level and I thought that was the best way to do that."

Perhaps the best thing Lynch did, however, was show those in attendance he had improved his footwork since a somewhat raw showing at the NFL's scouting combine in February.

"I feel very confident in where I was and where I am now. It hasn't been that long of a period obviously but I wanted to come out here and showcase my footwork as well as my arm and I feel like I did a really good with that," Lynch said.

"I wanted to show these teams what I can do in that short amount of time. If I get picked up by whatever team, they're seeing what kind of guy they're going to get — a guy that's ready to work."

A little-recruited prospect out of high school, Lynch rose up draft boards following an impressive final two seasons at Memphis in which he combined for 6,807 passing yards and 50 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. Coupled with his big frame and powerful arm, Lynch is projected as potentially a second-round pick or late first-rounder.

Lynch — who spoke of a chip on his shoulder in interviews at the combine — said he carries a workmanlike approach as he prepares to hopefully enter the league.

"I'm going to be the kid that's here to work hard day in and day out. I'm going to push these guys around me, I know everybody out here's solid, how I treat my teammates and how I cheer for them and how I try to pick them up and they do the same for me," he said.

"I'm going to come in there ready to learn, I know I'm going to have to earn the respect of those older guys obviously coming in as a younger guy and that's how you earn it through hard work and showing those guys you take it serious and you're ready to work."

With 10 draft picks — including the second and 32nd overall selections — the Browns have said they're in pursuit of a franchise quarterback, be it with somebody on the roster or through the draft. And while some analysts are convinced Cleveland will scoop up either Goff or Wentz in the early first round, coach Hue Jackson said the team is evaluating all its options at all positions.

Lynch, of course, remains an option.

"Whenever I get to a team, I'm going to prepare to be a starter," Lynch said, adding, "regardless of what situation I get put into, I'm going to keep my head down and work."

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