The Paxton Lynch-Blake Bortles comparison is a relatively common one, but few people if any are as qualified to make it as Charlie Taaffe. The former UCF quarterbacks coach spent four years with Bortles, and was Lynch's private QB coach as the former Memphis star trained for the NFL Scouting Combine and his pro day workout.
He's seen them both up close, and he sees the comparison as a good one. Here are some of Taaffe's thoughts about how the two compare with each other in various ways:
"They can both make every throw on the field. Paxton's deep-ball touch is better than Blake's at this stage. And I don't say that because Blake's wasn't good -- it was -- but Paxton's is exceptional. He's one of the best deep-ball throwers I've seen."
Immediate readiness for the NFL:
"Blake played both under center and in the shotgun with us at UCF, so he probably was a little more NFL-ready from a system standpoint coming out of college than Paxton's experience of being exclusively in the shotgun. Paxton was a little more of a project from that standpoint."
"Blake runs well and he's extremely competitive, very tough, but not quite as fluid an athlete as Paxton. Paxton, for a man his size, he's very loose in the hips and very smooth. Blake gets the job done athletically, but maybe not quite as fluidly."
"Their stories are very similar. Both were very lightly recruited, under-recruited coming out of their high school programs. They both came out of Wing-T offenses in high school, which you don't see in college. They were under the radar for much of their college careers. In Blake's case, his big game was a nationally televised game against Louisville. We came out on top in that one, then he had a big Fiesta Bowl against Baylor. Paxton was under the radar for a lot of his career, but he had a similar breakout game against Ole Miss where the talk about him really got started."
"I knew Blake a lot better because I coached him four years and I've only had Paxton since January in a one-on-one scenario. Blake's temperament is perfect for a quarterback. He really has a short-term memory, good or bad. I see that in Paxton, but I've never coached Paxton in a game to see how he reacts, but my sense from having worked with him is that he's a level-headed player who won't get affected negatively by a bad play or a bad series. He's got the right temperament as well."