Ok, let me get something out of the way right off the bat. I'm not here to bash Tim Tebow. Far from it. For some reason, as often happens with polarizing topics, you are forced to pick sides. I'm not picking sides here. There is little doubt about the character of Tebow and yes that matters in the NFL. There are plenty of examples, starting with a team that wears Black and Gold.
We also know that no player in this draft will work harder than Tebow. He will be the first one in and last one out of the building every day. So was Chris Simms, by the way, but I digress. Tebow is a coaches dream. Especially Josh McDaniels. Tebow wants to be coached, wants to be yelled at, wants to learn, wants to be great. In a lot of ways, that is half the battle in any walk of life.
Tebow has all the intangibles you'd love to see in every player.
There is also no debating his place as one of the greatest college football players....ever. He won championships, he won Heisman Trophies. He was a great leader and a great teammate. He played hurt and came back from injury in a hurry. Again, not much to debate here and all great qualities in a player - especially at quarterback.
So why is there a pit in my stomach every time I think of a guy who became a star in Blue and Orange on Saturday's wearing Blue and Orange on Sunday's?
Like all the positives above, I think we can all agree Tebow is not ready to come in and start. Not a terrible thing, few rookie quarterbacks are. Even fewer are really given the chance. But there in-lies the problem.
If the Broncos were to take Tebow in the 2nd Round - at 43 or 45 - or worse, trade back into the late-1st Round to take him, they would do so with the intention of finding a way to get a tremendous athlete on the field. At least that has been the argument for the Broncos, a team with needs all over the roster, to take him so high in the Draft.
That is a relative term, by the way. I think Tebow could get drafted anywhere from 25-45. What is considered 'high' or a 'reach' for the Broncos is not for a team like, say, the Vikings or Patriots. They are contending football teams that can put a guy like Tebow on their roster and nurture him until he is ready - and still be in Super Bowl contention.
Back to the Broncos. Let's say they do use Tebow as many have mentioned - as a weapon in some gimmick offense. I've heard Tebow could be used as a 'Slash-type' player or even a H-Back. How about the Wild Horses/Wildcat/whatevertheycallitnext You name it, we've heard it - short-yardage, goalline, special-teams. That's all great, and it might work - a bit.
Here's the problem. If we already agree that Tebow needs work, and we all agree that it will take time, how is Tebow going to work on the things he needs to work on if he is focusing his attention on a gimmick offense or a position other than quarterback? It defeats the very purpose of drafting this guy - and goes against what Tebow himself wants, which is to be a quarterback in the NFL.
Sure, do I think Josh McDaniels could work with Tebow and make him a great Quarterback in the NFL? Definitely. Here is the problem - McDaniels isn't a quarterback coach anymore, and he isn't an Offensive Coordinator anymore. He is the Head Coach of the Broncos and is responsible for all positions on the football field, not just the QB. I saw firsthand in Training Camp last year that he is heavily involved with all positions, too - from running WR drills, to coaching linebackers, to sitting in on defensive-line drills.
I am a Tim Tebow supporter. Because of that, I feel the best thing for Tim Tebow is to NOT be drafted by the Broncos. If anything, it would stunt his development as a quarterback and slow his progress. The most importtant element for Tebow is to be drafted into the right situation - a team that has the flexibility to be patient with his development and let him cook in the oven a bit more.
The Broncos are not that team. It is a team and fan-base in the midst of its' longest playoff drought since before the Orange-Crush defense. It is a team that has seen the Head Coach, Quarterback and star receiver jettisoned in the past 16 months after 15 years of stability. In other words, the Broncos need to add players that can help right now, today. They need players that can step right in and be big-time contributors. Tim Tebow cannot do that for the Broncos in 2010. Not in the way that would benefit Tebow in 2011 and beyond.
In another year, in another time, Tebow would be a solid pickup. For this Broncos team, in 2010, the best bet is to let Tebow land softly somewhere else and go about the business of rebuilding this roster.