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Friday, April 23, 2010

Loving the ORANGE and BLUE...

If you had said before this draft that Jimmy Clausen would be on the board with Tim Tebow was taken, you would have won a lot of bets. Josh McDaniels, however, would have taken your money. The Denver Broncos saw their next franchise quarterback, and went after him with a vengeance. They gave up their second, third, and fourth-round picks to move up to Baltimore's 25th overall selection, and drafted Tebow with that pick.

(Photos: Photos from NFL draft in New York)

Now, putting the intangibles aside - we're not questioning Tebow's competitiveness, work ethic, or character. The questions revolve around his ability to take the NFL by the scruff of the neck despite a somewhat limited repertoire of actual, you know, quarterback tools. Though he's shortened his delivery and made it more pro-ready, there are still hitches in the overall mechanism. He'll have to learn to make more complex reads at the next level, which is one of many reasons so many people think he'll have to take a couple of "redshirt years" while he grabs the NFL schemes. The Broncos haveKyle Orton(notes) and Brady Quinn(notes) in the meantime, so the succession plan would seem to be in place.

However, McDaniels dances to a different beat. The Broncos also traded down and picked up Georgia Tech receiver DeMaryius Thomas, who is primarily known for deep routes, and he's got three quarterbacks without one elite deep arm in the bunch. So, what you think makes sense might not happen. Knowing McDaniels, he might put Tebow in there right away, and align his ego with the notion that he alone can make Tebow an instant NFL starter.

Speaking of NFL starters, what happened to Clausen, ostensibly the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft class? He watched the entire first round go by without hearing his name called -- certainly an unexpected result in a day filled with surprises.

Oh, and remember all those comments Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver had about picking Tebow to fill the seats? The Broncos open the season at Jacksonville, so we'll see if Weaver was right.

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