The order of the Top 20 of the 2010 NFL Draft is set (with a few minor coin-toss clarifications yet to be made), and we can start to consider if Tim Tebow may get drafted in the first round -- and, if so, where.
Let's start with this: If the speculation is true that the Jaguars are going to take Tebow no matter what, he could go in the Top 10, no later than No. 11.
*The Rams won't take him first. Period.
*The Lions just drafted Stafford, and the Bucs just drafted Freeman.
*I could see the Redskins being unpredictable (and marketing-savvy) enough to take Tebow -- but that won't happen at No. 4.
*KC just signed Matt Cassel.
*The Seahawks need a QB, but will take a West Coast offense-friendly QB like Bradford or Clausen.
*Even with their mess at QB, no way the Browns will take Tebow.
*Oakland at 8 is fascinating, if only because Al Davis is insane.
*The Bills' Jim Kelly endorsed the team taking Tebow, but even beyond questions about Tebow's fit as a starting QB or questions about a team as directionless as Buffalo, at No. 9, he is unlikely.
*Even if the Bears flip into No. 10, they just spent a fortune to get Jay Cutler -- although I could see a populist surge for the team to take a "Chicago-style" player like Tebow. It won't happen.
And then all eyes on Jacksonville at 11.
1. St. Louis (1-15)
2. Detroit (2-14)
3. Tampa Bay (3-13)
4. Washington (4-12)
5. Kansas City (4-12)
6. Seattle (5-11)
7. Cleveland (5-11)
8. Oakland (5-11)
9. Buffalo (6-10)
10/11. Chicago (7-9)* (Traded to DEN)
10/11. Jacksonville (7-9)*
12. Miami (7-9)
13. San Francisco (8-8)
14. Denver (8-8)(Traded to SEA)
15. New York Giants (8-8)
16/17. Carolina (8-8)* (Traded to SF)
16/17. Tennessee (8-8)*
18. Pittsburgh (9-7)
19/20. Atlanta (9-7)*
19/20. Houston (9-7)*
That analysis above was just a taste. I will dig much deeper into every team's motivation for drafting Tebow as the pre-draft craziness progresses.
The rebuilding teams with little chance of making the playoffs next year or in the future will be leery of taking Tebow -- they will almost assuredly have areas of greater need than what Tebow will solve. The near-playoff teams that are just a few tweaks away will also be looking to fill a specific need, rather than willing to embrace uncertainty and creativity with Tebow. The remaining 12 teams -- all in the playoffs this season -- have their own motivations.
UPDATE: Would you know it? The PBP's intrepid Ben Volin beat me to this. That'll teach me to write a post in the early morning, then hold it until the mid-afternoon. He and I can quibble, but we mostly agree. I think that there's less of a chance that Tebow goes before the Jags at 10/11 than Volin does -- he's much more bullish on Tebow to Buffalo than I am. But see how this is already being framed: Top 10-ish.
It's like there are the denialist draftniks who want to keep claiming that Tebow is a 2nd-rounder, then the realists who recognize that he's going 1st round, possibly Top half, possibly Top 10.