Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch's numbers are eye-popping, but, as a MAC quarterback, naturally, NFL evaluators are going to be more suspicious of his statistics than those of power-conference signal-callers.
Disregard him at your own risk, though.
He became the first player in FBS history to pass for more than 3,000 yards and rush for more than 1,500 yards last season, and he's in position to hit those numbers again -- and potentially help lead NIU to its second straight BCS bowl -- this season with 1,711 yards passing and 1,031 yards rushing through eight games. He has 26 total touchdowns this season (18 passing, 8 rushing), rushed for a record 316 yards earlier this month against Central Michigan and last week became the first FBS player since 2010 to throw multiple TD passes and also catch and run for a TD in a single game.
Is your head spinning yet?
The Huskies' senior quarterback is extremely impressive. Some are skeptical about his NFL chances and have suggested he might have to change to a new position to make it as a pro, but I think he will be drafted in 2014 as a mid- to late-round pick and will get a chance to prove he can play quarterback at the next level.
No matter how he tests at the combine and performs in workouts, his numbers don't nearly tell the full story of who he is as a player.
Lynch has a better arm than you might think when you see his rushing stats. He has good velocity, good accuracy and trusts his arm. He's not a popgun thrower. He can let it rip.
Now, one thing he will have to modify as a pro player: Lynch has a violent running style -- he truly runs like a running back. He will drop his shoulder and run over somebody. I don't think that plays well for a future in the NFL. I think that's just a recipe for not finishing games. Self-preservation has to be in your mind in the NFL. He'll learn that, but right now, he's running to win for his team, which I admire.
I also had a chance to see him work and throw this summer at the Manning Passing Academy. My takeaway from watching him is that he's a quiet, serious-minded player who is locked in on his work. When he's in the huddle and the locker room, he's in charge. He's that kind of leader. Lynch isn't overly demonstrative, but when he speaks, everyone listens.
By force of personality and leadership, he carries that team along with him. This is a kid that loves the game and plays it to the hilt on every snap.
He'll do whatever he has to do to win, and that's about all Lynch has done, leading NIU to a 20-2 record -- including 8-0 this season -- in the games he has started over the past two seasons.
I think he's the type of player that once NFL teams get to spend time with him and get him in camp, they'll be even more intrigued.