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Jordan Lynch and Running Quarterbacks Changing Positions

Lynch

Phil Emery is one of the general managers in the NFL that has openly incorporated analytics into the approach of his front office. Once the clock struck twelve on the NFL draft on Saturday, the Bears immediately announced they had signed Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. While it would have been fun to see him as part of an option offense, the Bears designated him as a running back. With his move to running back, should he also move onto your roster?

Lynch happens to be in a very rare group of college quarterbacks that have rushed for 3,000 yards in their college careers since 2000.

PlayerSchoolPass YdsTDIntAttRush YdsTD
Pat WhiteWest Virginia60495623684448047
Brad SmithMissouri87995633799428945
Denard RobinsonMichigan62504939692426641
Jordan LynchNorthern Illinois62095114636413647
Colin KaepernickNevada100988224600411259
Joshua CribbsKent State71694534631366738
Trent SteelmanArmy2723149770331345
Vince YoungTexas60404428457312737
Braxton MillerOhio State52925217557305432

 

Braxton Miller could very well end up leading this list since he’s returning to Ohio State for his senior season and is probably already owned by Davis Mattek in a Devy league somewhere. Outside of Vince Young and Kaepernick, none of these guys had any success in the NFL as passers and most underwent position changes such as Lynch is going through.  And even though none were fantasy relevant, I’m going to continue.

Can He Even Play Running Back?

At 217 pounds Lynch stacks up against the best in this draft class in terms of weight adjusted agility (W-Adj AS). The rest isn’t pretty, but it’s also not damning. His explosion and speed are pretty discouraging, but look at that agility score. In fact, his three cone is pretty special.

 

Player

Rookie Age

Ht

Wt

BMI

40

Vert

Broad

20YS

3C

W-Adj AS

Jordan Lynch

24

73

217

28.6

4.76

29.5

109

4.2

6.55

113.74

Bishop Sankey

22.0

69

209

30.9

4.49

35.5

126

4

6.75

109.55

Tyler Gaffney

23.4

71

220

30.7

4.49

36.5

116

4.18

6.78

106.73

Lorenzo Taliaferro

22.7

72

229

31.1

4.58

33

116

4.22

6.88

105.6

James Wilder Jr

22.4

75

232

29.0

4.86

35

121

4.24

6.92

104.70

Jerick McKinnon

22.3

69

209

30.9

4.41

40.2

131

4.12

6.83

101.76

Yowzers. He may not be so horrible after all, but his strength is only in one area. He’s also headed to a team with a starting running back who is going to be 29 years old this season in Matt Forte, and who could free up $7.8M in cap space in his age 30 season if released. Behind Forte, there’s not a lot currently in the cupboard. Only Michael Ford, who was an unrestricted free agent signing last season and didn’t record a rushing attempt and fourth round selection this year, Ka’Deem Carey, who has some red on his ledger, are on the roster. We know that Marc Trestman has been a PPR running back whisperer, so we have no clue if Lynch can catch passes or worse yet, pass block. He did record a 17 yard touchdown catch this past season, but here’s how he looks when compared to his fellow Forte backups.

Player

Ht

Wt

BMI

40

Vert

Broad

20YS

3C

W-Adj AS

Car/G

Yds/G

TDs/G

Rec/G

Lynch

73

217

28.6

4.76

29.5

109

4.2

6.55

113.74

20.9

137.1

1.6

0.0

Carey

69

207

30.6

4.7

32.5

115

4.38

7.08

84.01

29.1

157.1

1.6

2.2

Ford

70

210

30.1

4.5

38.5

130

4.25

6.87

96.14

5.5

30.2

0.2

0.2

*Final Season Stats 

Carey isn’t much of an athlete overall, but he was plenty productive as a workhorse and as a pass catcher. So there’s strike one against Lynch making a push on the depth chart. Ford has monster explosion and he returned some kickoffs last season. Chicago declined to re-sign Devin Hester, so Ford has an immediate in for competing as the kickoff specialist this season. Strike two. You can likely only roster him in fantasy as a quarterback for one season, so don’t get too cute, you don’t want to be caught looking at the third strike.

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