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Is Paxton Lynch already a draft bust?

If Paxton Lynch is not mentally ready, that is the fault of the Denver Broncos, who have shown institutional ineptitude since drafting him in the first round.

NFL: New York Giants at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With reports from the Denver Broncos that Brock Osweiler will continue as the starting quarterback, fans and media are wondering what will become of Paxton Lynch. There is already a narrative out there that Lynch is a bust. Now, with Vance Joseph saying he isn’t mentally ready to play, this storyline has gained even more strength.

Here’s the problem: choosing to label Lynch a bust after just two and a half games in the NFL is lazy and reactionary. Even still, the notion that he isn’t mentally ready for the NFL stage is unsettling. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the Mile High Report Radio podcast, fans want to jump on Lynch, but this falls at the feet of the men tasked with his development.

This is going to feel a lot like rehashing old news, but it needs to be said. With the Broncos collapsing under the weight of poor offensive play, and bad decision making, somehow Lynch is being kicked aside. Media members are already moving on to the 2018 draft, and the free-agent pool. How is it possible that an organization can so quickly turn its back on a No. 1 pick?

And for those who are claiming the Broncos need to tank for a high draft pick to fix the offense, how has that been working out? What has John Elway and the rest of the brass at Dove Valley done to make anyone think they can choose the right player? If they missed on Lynch, it stands to reason they will miss on the next guy, too. Don’t forget, they also drafted Brock Osweiler ahead of Russell Wilson.

Which brings us back to his development. He isn’t ready physically? That’s just how football works. He isn’t ready mentally? That’s on the coaches and management who have failed him. When Lynch looks around the league he can see franchise after franchise that have gone all in on their first-round draft picks. He need look no further than the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz.

Perhaps he could simply see how the Broncos have handled Garett Bolles. His teammate has been handed the left tackle position and is expected to learn on the job. With Lynch it was a head coach and offensive coordinator his rookie year who did not want him. Then it was a first-year head coach and an old offensive coordinator who did not want to develop him.

It would be less than surprising if Lynch was looking for the exit. He clearly has the talent. The problem is the organization. From the top to the bottom, Elway on down, they chose not to back their pick. It shows ineptitude at an institutional level. It falls first at the feet of Elway. How he did not make the determination to hand Lynch the job is incredibly shortsighted.

A season and a half later the Broncos have no idea what Lynch is, or could be. A Super Bowl caliber defense has been wasted again. The hopes of the franchise seem to rest in a player that is either two years behind in development, or hasn’t even been added to the roster.

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