Also played safety as an Illinois prep at Chicago-area Mount Carmel. Redshirted in 2009. Saw action in nine games in 2010 as a backup to Colts 2012 seventh-rounder Chandler Harnish, completing 4 of 6 passes for 13 yards (66.7 percent) with one touchdown and no interceptions and rushing 31 times for 362 yards (11.7-yard average) and three touchdowns. Spent 2011 campaign as Harnish's backup, appearing in 13 games and going 15-of-20 for 166 yards with one TD and no INTs and rushing 45 times for 246 yards and three TDs. Had a breakout season in 2012, going 237-of-394 (60.2) for 3,138 yards with 25 TDs and six INTs and rushing 294 times for 1,815 yards and 19 TDs in 14 starts and finished seventh in the Heisman balloting. Became the first player in FBS history to rush for more than 1,500 yards and throw for 3,000 yards in the same season. Was a Heisman Trophy finalist and named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 after going 253-of-404 (62.6) for 2,892 yards with 24 TDs and eight INTs and rushing 292 times for 1,920 yards (6.6) and 23 TDs in 14 games. Rushed for 316 yards at Central Michigan and 321 yards vs. Western Michigan, an FBS record by a QB. Had a 24-4 career record in 28 starts.
Exceptional competitor. Tough, physical runner who drops his shoulder and barrels through contact with determination. Very good competitive speed. Rare agility and change of direction m-- recorded a combine-best 6.55-second three-cone shuttle time and showed outstanding agility in RB drills at his pro day. Exceptional overall production. Outstanding work habits. Carried the offense and willed the team to victory.
Is short and operates heavily in the gun in an offense that features rolling pockets that allow him to see the field more clearly. Many of his throws involve simplified, one-look reads to stationary targets. Tends to bird-dog his primary target. Is jittery and quick to tuck and run in the pocket. Accuracy is sporadic at each layer, short to deep. Must improve timing and anticipation. Recorded a 29 1/2-inch vertical jump.
A gritty competitor, Lynch ran to set up the pass and was feared more as an option runner than as a pocket-moving passer. Could contend for a job as a No. 3 quarterback if he learns to refine his passing instincts. Developmental project with immediate value as a practice-squad, read-option quarterback. Toughness and competitiveness could translate well as a box safety or hybrid running back, though odds could be long unless he fully embraces a position change.