NFL scouts are worried about a top quarterback prospect because he is ‘spacey’ and did poorly on a pre-draft test

Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch is expected to be the third quarterback selected in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, but some NFL scouts are puzzling over him for being too spacey.

Lynch, who is a mobile 6-foot-6 with good vision and an even better arm, is projected to go anywhere from the top 10 to the middle of the second round. But his score of 18 (out of 50) on the Wonderlic Test isn’t doing him any favours. It has some scouts worried about his future in the league.

As one anonymous scout told the Journal-Sentinel:

“You might hit the home run with Lynch but because of the mental you might strike out. He has the best arm. It ain’t even close. That big, tall son of a gun can run, too. He’s a little spacey, a little different.”

Another scout echoed this:

“The overall maturity level and disposition, I’d be a bit concerned. Big kid, strong arm. But he’s a ways away mentally.”

Lynch’s Wonderlic test is on the low side, especially among the other quarterback prospects. Goff and Wentz earned a 34 and 40, respectively, both of which are well above the average score of 20. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan tallied a 38, the second highest among QBs, and Penn State’s Christian Hackenburg, another enticing prospect, earned a 24.

But for as much emphasis as scouts put on the Wonderlic Test, there’s almost no correlation between a bad score and a bad NFL career. Likewise, a good score by no means ensures a prolific career. Frank Gore famously got a 4 out of 50, and Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Terry Bradshaw both tallied lowly 16s. Meanwhile, Greg McElroy, a career backup no longer in the league, earned a 48.

Nevertheless, Lynch’s brains are a concern. And considering he is a quarterback, the concerns make sense.

NFL scouts are notoriously fickle, so it’s worth taking their grievances with a grain of salt. Earlier this week, Ohio St. cornerback Eli Apple (a presumptive first-rounder) was lambasted by an anonymous scout for his alleged culinary shortcomings. Last week, another anonymous scout took issue with Michigan State quarterback Conor Cook, even without any tangible reasons why.

On Thursday, Adam Schefter reported Lynch might fall into the second round. If he does, it could be because of his Wonderlic score.

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