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DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Paxton Lynch #12 of the Denver Broncos walks off the field in the first half of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Klatt: Broncos can’t develop Lynch and contend for Super Bowls

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Paxton Lynch #12 of the Denver Broncos walks off the field in the first half of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

With the development of Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch, it’s all about expectation management to Joel Klatt.

The Fox Sports football analyst, joining “Schlereth & Evans” last week, said he had always believed developing the Broncos 2016 first-round pick would be a two- or three-year process, maybe longer.

So, Klatt said, despite Lynch losing out the quarterback battle this offseason to Trevor Siemian, he’s not ready to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

“I’m not ready to declare bust. I’m not ready to declare anything,” Klatt said. “Why? Because it’s a project. That’s what this is. This is a developmental quarterback.”

But the rub is, Klatt said, Lynch has got to play in order to develop.

“You need reps to play this position. It’s a reps-based position. You need experience. You’ve got to go out there and see it,” Klatt said. “There’s nothing you can learn in the film room or sitting behind a guy at practice taking mental reps that are going to allow you to have success at that position.”

But getting Lynch reps means sacrificing a shot at a potential Super Bowl run in the next few years.

“If you want the Broncos to be a playoff team and a Super Bowl team right now and you want Paxton Lynch to be this great quarterback, it doesn’t work that way,” Klatt said.

“If you want him to develop into the franchise player that you think he’s going to be, I think he needs to be on the field and the season just needs to just kind of be tossed out there as, ‘Hey, we’re developing our quarterback of the future.’”

And for those who expected Lynch to come in and be the “athletic savior of the franchise and the quarterback of the future,” Klatt said, need to manage expectations.

“… They’re the ones that the pendulum is going to swing wildly the other way. And because he wasn’t reaching those expectations, now they’re going to consider him a bust,” Klatt said. “So, I think it 100 percent depends on what you expected him to be when he came to Denver.

“If you think he’s a bust, your expectations were out of line to begin with.”

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.