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updated: 2/21/2014 3:06 PM

NIU's Lynch ready to prove doubters wrong

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  • Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch answers a question during a news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Friday. Lynch will have a chance to showcase his skills this weekend.

      Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch answers a question during a news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Friday. Lynch will have a chance to showcase his skills this weekend.
    Associated Press

  • Former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch says he prefers to be drafted as a quarterback, and he doesn't believe his size will hinder him at the NFL level.

      Former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch says he prefers to be drafted as a quarterback, and he doesn't believe his size will hinder him at the NFL level.
    Associated Press/2013 file

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INDIANAPOLIS -- It's not that NIU's undersized-but-athletic quarterback Jordan Lynch refuses to play another position in the NFL.

He just thinks he's better off playing the position where he compiled a 24-4 career record and finished third in last year's Heisman Trophy voting.

Some NFL personnel evaluators believe Lynch projects better to running back, slot receiver or safety because of his hard-nosed style of play.

With all due respect, Lynch prefers his current position.

"I'm a quarterback first, and I've been proving people wrong ever since I started playing, and there's no doubt in my mind I'll continue to do that," said the 216-pound Lynch, who measured a hair over 6 feet tall Friday at the NFL's Scouting Combine. "What I tell teams is that they're going to make a huge mistake if they don't put me at quarterback."

But Lynch is also quick to volunteer to do whatever it takes to make it in the NFL.

"Anything to get my foot in the door," he said. "If they want me to run down on kickoffs and butt heads, I'll do that. I'm a team guy and I'll buy into any system."

In his final two seasons for the Northern Illinois Huskies, Lynch threw for 6,030 yards, 49 touchdowns and had just 14 interceptions while rushing for 3,735 yards, an average of 6.4 yards per carry. He holds NCAA records for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season (1,920) and a game (321), plus 100-yard rushing games in a season (12).

But his lack of height combined with inexperience in a pro-style passing offense could mean Lynch is won't be drafted until the final couple rounds.

"Yeah, I'm not that 6-foot-5 pocket passer," Lynch concedes. "(But) being 6-foot does play to your advantage at times. Being that small, when you're sitting in the pocket, not a lot of DBs can get a read on your eyes and see where the quarterback's looking."

Lacking ideal height has forced Lynch to work on other aspects of the position.

"I throw with anticipation," he said. "I throw on time and throw to spots. Sometimes I can't really see the receiver, so I have to buy into the system, trust the system and throw on time."

Yet another knock on Lynch is his small hand size (8 ¾ inches, the smallest of any quarterback at the combine).

"I don't buy into any of that stuff," Lynch said. "I'm a winner. I'm a competitor. I find a way to win. I can hold the football with one hand and throw it -- I guess that's all you really need to know."

If circumstances conspire to force him into a position change, Lynch wants to stay on offense.

"Running back or slot receiver," he said. "I feel like I need the ball in my hands -- play-making. There's some questions whether I can play safety or not, and that would be great and everything, but I feel like offense would be best."

The doubts about his arm, his size, his hands and all the rest of it are nothing new. Lynch says he's been hearing it since he enrolled at Mt. Carmel on Chicago's South Side.

"I started playing quarterback my freshman year," Lynch said. "I ran the triple-option in high school, so I had to prove again in college that I can throw.

"That keeps being the theme -- can I throw? Can I be a quarterback? It's worked out this far. I've been proving people wrong ever since. I'm going to prove them wrong again at the combine."

Lynch will get the chance to show he belongs with the other elite quarterbacks during position drills on Sunday.

• Follow Bob's Bears and NFL reports on Twitter@BobLeGere.

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