September 18, 2014
It’s either fitting or a statement about the Bears’ passing game the last decade: As a boy, Jordan Lynch cheered for bruising running back Anthony Thomas.
“He was fun to watch,” he said.
While some in the NFL view Lynch as more “A-Train” than quarterback, the former Mount Carmel High School and Northern Illinois star has his chance Friday to prove he’s more of the latter.
The third-place finisher in last season’s Heisman Trophy race will work out for the Bears — at quarterback — as part of their local pro day.
“It’s the team you grew up watching,” he said. “You’re kinda overhyped and anxious.”
Lynch, who has said all offseason that’s he’s a quarterback first, will go through the Bears’ passing drills. But it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s asked to do impromptu running back or defensive back work — as was the case at the NFL Scouting Combine and his March 7 pro day.
Lynch is confident in his quarterback skills, and he should be: He threw for more than 6,000 yards at NIU and went 24-4 as a starter.
He ran for 4,343 yards, too, leading some to project him as a pro running back.
It’s to Lynch’s credit that, unlike some quarterbacks put in the same situation — paging Tim Tebow — he’s willing to consider versatility.
“If a team wants me, if I’m gonna be a third [quarterback], if they want me to do special teams, I’ll help the team out,” he said.
Lynch’s 6-foot, 217-pound frame isn’t ideal for a pro passer.
His athleticism, though, is off the charts: His three-cone drill at the combine was faster than any quarterback — or running back.
“When the lights come on, the kid’s ready to play,” said Donovan Dooley, Lynch’s personal quarterback coach. “He keeps doing it time after time. He puts on a show.”
Lynch has worked under center the last few months, trying to perfect three- and five-step drops that weren’t part of the NIU game plan.
“My gut feeling says he’s gonna be drafted,” Dooley said. “I’ll go on a limb and say teams would be crazy not to.”
Lynch, who has spent the last month or so working out in DeKalb, said he has kept “in good contact” with the Bears.
Since his pro day, though, he has not met privately with an NFL team. Lynch sees that as a function of his track record.
“The guys they bring in are the guys they kinda don’t know about,” he said. “People know everything about me. . . .
“People draft people because of potential. I’ve proved myself. I can only control what I can control.”
He has been there before, having been lightly recruited out of high school.
“I’ve been playing with a chip on my shoulder my whole life,” he said.
NOTES: The Bears met this week with Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton, a two-time All-American, sources told the Sun-Times.
◆ The team sent defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni to watch Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley at his Thursday pro day. Easley is recovering from a torn ACL.