Cowboys, Chargers candidates to trade up for Lynch in Round 1

Paxton Lynch is a popular choice as the Denver Broncos' first-round pick at No. 31 overall, but if Broncos general manager John Elway has those intentions, he might want to cross his fingers.

NFL Media analysts Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks believe the Dallas Cowboys or San Diego Chargers are threats to trade up from their early second-round choices to move ahead of the Broncos, and perhaps the Arizona Cardinals at No. 29 as well, to take the former Memphis quarterback.

"If they don't want to pull the trigger on a (Carson) Wentz or a (Jared) Goff at Nos. 3 and 4, now you come back around in the second round," Mayock said Wednesday during NFL Network's coverage of Lynch's pro-day workout. "Would either of them trade up into the first round to try and get that fifth year of a contract, and develop this young man in a perfect situation behind either a (Philip) Rivers or a (Tony) Romo?"

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has told NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt that the club will not use the No. 4 overall pick on a quarterback.

Rivers and Romo could be ideal mentors for Lynch, who might benefit from developmental time as a rookie in coming from a spread offense in college. Dallas' second-round pick is at No. 34 overall, while San Diego's is at No. 35. The Cardinals, with an aging quarterback of their own in Carson Palmer and a coach in Bruce Arians who favors bigger, stronger quarterbacks who can deliver the deep ball, could also have an eye on Lynch. As such, Dallas or San Diego could look to deal with clubs picking ahead of Arizona.

"The Arizona Cardinals at No. 29 could entertain the possibility, we know about the Denver Broncos. So if I'm the San Diego Chargers or Dallas Cowboys, you're already beginning to have those conversations," Brooks added. "Where in the mid-20s can you get to to be in a position to pull the trigger to get a guy like (Lynch)?"

Brooks said two NFL general managers told him Lynch has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in the draft class.

"He may come in and it may take him some time to get on the field, but in terms of his long-term potential and talent, he has more talent than some of the other guys in the class. Because of that, he could pass them. But it may not be in year one or two, it may be in year three or four when he finally realizes that potential," Brooks said.

The 2016 NFL Draft will be April 28-30 in Chicago and will air live on NFL Network.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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