Throughout the predraft process, it became clear the Chiefs were interested in Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.
Lynch’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, posted on Twitter that the Chiefs scheduled a formal interview with his client at the NFL scouting combine — which is usually a major indicator of interest for the Chiefs — and added that the Chiefs also visited with Lynch before the draft.
Given that and Lynch’s tangible tools — he boasts size (6 feet 7, 244 pounds), impressive athleticism and a nice arm — it’s reasonable to assume the Chiefs would have considered Lynch had he fallen to them at No. 28 in the first round.
But that never came to be, as Denver, which was picking at No. 31, jumped to No. 26 by surrendering a third-round pick this year to Seattle.
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During a news conference after the first round on Thursday, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said he had his eye on a couple of players in the first round, both of whom were taken before the Chiefs pick at No. 28. He added that right around pick 26 — where Lynch was taken — or 27, teams began to communicate with the Chiefs about moving down.
But when asked directly if the Broncos’ decision to draft Lynch affected their decision to move down, Dorsey shook his head.
“Not at all,” Dorsey said.
The Chiefs, of course, lost their third-round pick this year after the NFL ruled they tampered in the recruitment of free agent Jeremy Maclin. If they hadn’t lost the third-round pick, it would have been No. 91 — a few spots ahead of Denver’s third-round pick.
Dorsey was asked what he thought about the possibility of facing Lynch for the next several years.
“He’s a fine football player,” Dorsey said. “You have to line up a play against somebody and they chose to come up and do their thing. He is a big, strong-armed guy.”
Denver, the defending Super Bowl champion, was hurting at quarterback after the retirement of Peyton Manning and the departure of Brock Osweiler in free agency. But the addition of Lynch gives them a high-upside option to pair with recently acquired veteran Mark Sanchez.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, return Alex Smith at quarterback, with youngsters Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray as the primary backups following the departure of veteran Chase Daniel in free agency. Smith is coming off a career year, but Bray and Murray — while talented — are untested.