INDIANAPOLIS — Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch said he's used to having doubters. He likes it that way.
"I'm the type of guy who always finds something," he said Friday at the NFL Combine. "There's always something there to put a chip on your shoulder and drive yourself to work even harder."
While he's regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class, Lynch has taken something of a backseat to the buzz surrounding fellow signal callers in California's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz.
The little-recruited Lynch said it reminds him of high school. "I didn't have any offers. I got to Memphis and people said, 'Why are you going to Memphis? They'll never win ball games.' So we were the underdog there and look what happened," he said.
"So I've been used to this, and I'm going to approach it like I always have. I'm just going to keep my head down, worry about myself and go to work."
So far, Lynch has made good on that approach.
The 6-foot-7 dual-threat quarterback burst onto the scene last season after leading the Tigers to an 8-0 start and passing for 3,776 yards and 28 touchdowns. And because of his frame and dynamic ability, Lynch offers potential suitors — including the Browns, who hold the second and 32nd overall draft picks — much to consider.
But in some ways, Lynch — who only played in a Wing-T offense in high school — is something of a project with raw talent in need of refinement.
"I've always relied on my athletic ability with my size and arm strength in college, but I know that'll be a little different when I get to the NFL. Those guys are a lot faster, those windows are a lot smaller and those defenses do a lot more tricky stunts than they do in college," Lynch said.
"But I'm working hard. I'm training. When I finally get to mini camp or rookie camp, whenever that is, I'll know just how different it is, but it's obviously going to take some time to adjust. But I'm ready and I'm excited for it."
After all, Lynch is still learning to master his passing touch.
"I didn't really throw the ball at all in high school because we were a Wing-T offense but when I got to Memphis, that's the first time I actually started throwing the ball in general," Lynch said. "So we kind of tested a few things out, moving me in the pocket and stuff like that but I'm confident in my abilities and what I can and can't do. Throwing on the run is not one of the things I can't do but standing in the pocket and making sideline throws is also something I don't think I'll have a problem with."
Lynch called his time at Memphis a "learning process."
"I'm still learning. I don't think I've reached my ceiling. I don't think I've reached my full potential," he said. "I think there's still things that coaches can teach me to help better my game, and that's definitely one of them that I can better."
And now at the combine, he's out to prove himself once again at the combine.
"I've always had self-confidence ever since I was a kid. I used to watch these guys on TV and I always dreamed I'd be there," he said, pointing to past NFL quarterbacks.
"I always had in the back of my mind that as long as I worked hard and kept my faith strong, God will give me an opportunity to accomplish my dreams and he has. I'm doing everything I can to accomplish those dreams. So I'm just staying focused and I'm ready to get to work tomorrow."