Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 NFL Tim Tebow Mock Draft

Given that Tim Tebow is the biggest storyline of the 2010 NFL Draft -- who will draft him? where will he go? is he a 1st-rounder? will someone trade up for him? -- it seems fitting to create a 2010 NFL Mock Draft composed entirely of... Tim Tebow.

1. St. Louis Rams: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
Umm...no. If the NFL Draft was about selecting the most popular or compelling player -- or, say, the best player in college football history -- Tebow is a lock at No. 1. But it's not. It's apparently about selecting some idealized version of "NFL quarterback," despite his flimsy shoulder.

2. Detroit Lions: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
If marketing mattered as much as winning, the Lions would seriously consider taking Tebow and finding a way to get him in the game -- or certainly on the front of the marketing collateral. As it stands, they have their franchise QB. Detroit fans would have loved Tebow, though.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.

If the Bucs didn't take the Tebow-esque Josh Freeman in the 1st round a year ago, Tampa would be right up there with the Bills and Jags as teams that might-just-might be convinced to take Tebow as a Top 10 pick. They still flashed a little regional interest back at Tebow's Pro Day. But not for this pick.

4. Washington Redskins: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
The Redskins were on the original short list of teams interested in Tebow -- one of the first to want to bring him in for a workout. Then they traded for Donovan McNabb, giving up their high-2nd-round pick (more likely to be used on Tebow than the No. 4 overall pick), and the D.C. dream ended.

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
"Transitive property" at work here: Chiefs GM Scott Pioli comes from the Belichick Mafia. Belichick, of course, loves Urban Meyer and Tebow. KC has bigger needs here than duplicating a position they invested in so heavily a year ago -- but maybe a Tebow trade partner with the Pats in the early 2nd round?

6. Seattle Seahawks: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Another team on the short list of teams that originally expressed a lot of interest in Tebow. It makes a lot less sense since Pete Carroll traded Seattle's 2nd-round pick and cash for Charlie Whitehurst as the presumptive heir to Matt Hasselbeck. Vast needs for Seattle here beyond another QB.

7. Cleveland Browns: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
The Browns seem as interested in Tim Tebow as any team in the league -- right up there with the Bills. They need a QB to develop. They need a face of the franchise. Tebow offers both, but the No. 7 spot will simply be too much for Mike Holmgren. But that doesn't mean Cleveland won't get him.

8. Oakland Raiders: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Another team on the Tebow short list. Al Davis is a little crazy -- but not crazy enough to take Tebow with the No. 8 overall pick. (Keep reading down to my special 2nd-round preview, because I think that Oakland still offers the floor for Tebow's draft position.)

9. Buffalo Bills: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
At least a few mock drafters have put Tebow here; that's how interested the Bills supposedly are. I don't even rank this on my Tebow Draft Scenarios, but I do think that there is a better chance than for any other team that Buffalo exits the first round of the NFL Draft with Tebow in tow.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Gosh, remember when "Tebow to the Jags at No. 10" was it? Done deal. Case closed. The Jags would follow the marketing hype -- and, to be fair, the idea that in 3 years they will need a franchise QB to replace Garrard. But now? Basically zero buzz that the Jags will take him here.

11. Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Lots of discussion when Denver brought Tebow in for a workout on Monday, but given that they just traded for Brady Quinn, it is entirely unlikely that the Broncos would use the No. 11 on Tebow. If they want him, they have two 2nd-rounders (43, 45), but will need to package them to move up.

12. Miami Dolphins: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Fins QB coach David Lee got a first-hand look at Tebow while coaching him during the Senior Bowl. Tebow shares an agent with Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano. And Tebow is a classic "Parcells QB." But there is no way that the Dolphins use this pick -- or any -- to take Tebow.

13. San Francisco 49ers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
The last time the 49ers used a 1st-round pick to take a highly touted QB that was mentored by Urban Meyer, they got Alex Smith -- where was the draftniks' skepticism on THAT one? -- which might make both the team AND Team Tebow (which includes Meyer) disinclined to meet up here.

14. Seattle Seahawks: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
So let's assume that the Seahawks use their first 1st-round pick on an extreme need, like offensive line. Their fans are happy. Maybe they decide they want to reach here and take Tebow -- or maybe trade out, for extra picks, to a team hot to get him, like Buffalo?

15. New York Giants: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Bob Tebow predicted that Tim would go in the first 15 picks of the 1st round. Well, we are here. The Giants won't take him, but that doesn't mean that Tebow won't be selected by the time we get here -- if a team that wants him badly enough is able to trade up with New York... or earlier.

16. Tennessee Titans: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
When it comes to Tebow's 1st-round prospects, the name you hear come up a lot is Vince Young, who the Titans picked with the 3rd overall pick of the 2005 Draft and whose college style wasn't necessarily going to translate to the NFL. VY is the template for TT: Context is critical. (But taking Tebow here is not for Tennessee.)

17. San Francisco 49ers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida

This isn't unlike the Seahawks: Let's say the 49ers pass on Tebow on their first 1st-rounder. Maybe they take a flier on him here -- or, more likely, they are given the opportunity to trade down for extra draft picks, which they need more than Tebow. But the Bills might be willing to do it.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
A running joke has been the notion of pairing Tim Tebow and Ben Roethlisberger in some kind of "perfect strangers"-style buddy comedy reality series. This part is no joke: The Steelers have an image problem at QB and might very well trade Big Ben. But not for Tebow, even if he is the anti-Ben.

19. Atlanta Falcons: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Well, here is one team where you hear absolutely no discussion of interest in -- or fit for -- Tebow. Which makes them a solid candidate to field offers from teams that want to trade up before things get a lot more unpredictable in the 20s.

20. Houston Texans: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
NFL.com draft guru Gil Brandt has been as bullish on Tim Tebow's draft prospects as anyone in the draftnik industry, and as recently as last week, Brandt has been insisting that he sees Tebow going in the Top 20. If he isn't gone by now, Houston will be getting offers to trade out for picks.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Tim Tebow, QB Florida

Entirely unlikely to take Tebow, but certainly a willing taker if a team wants to try to trade multiple picks to get Tebow here. Beyond that, the Bengals are a great example of a team that let its franchise QB sit for an entire year, no pressure, to learn. And it worked out great. Template for Tebow?

22. New England Patriots: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
I have always felt in my gut that Bill Belichick would do anything reasonable to get Tebow -- I think Belichick is sincerely intrigued by the intellectual challenge of scheming ways to get Tebow to contribute. Here would be a surprise -- but you know Belichick would love to confound the draftniks.

23. Green Bay Packers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Green Bay is a team that spent a late 1st-round pick on a QB with a lot of upside; gave him years -- three long years -- to sit and observe and develop; then unleashed him on the league -- quite successfully, actually. They won't take him, but the team that does could learn from Green Bay.

24. Philadelphia Eagles: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Plenty of circumstantial evidence that the Eagles wouldn't mind having Tebow on the roster, but with the new commitment to Kevin Kolb, QB isn't a need at No. 24. However: Trading out to a team that wants to give up multiple picks to move into this spot and take Tebow? Possible.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Every team's beat writers have tried to find a Tebow hook -- it's worth the traffic to the Web site. And thus: The so-called "Purple Wildcat," which the Ravens could run when not letting Joe Flacco throw to the revamped corps of WRs. Still: Balto hasn't been on anyone's Tebow radar.

26. Arizona Cardinals: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Well, it's not like the Cardinals don't have questions at QB: Kurt Warner is gone. Derek Anderson has been imported. Matt Leinart's struggles have continued to prove that draftniks' "grades" are far from conclusive. A very early mock draft (Don Banks, SI.com) had Tebow here. Distant memory.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
"He'd never get on the field." That was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about Tim Tebow's prospects with the Cowboys. Even if he was inebriated when he said it and since back-tracked a bit, let's agree that he was being honest about his feelings. And as GM, that's what will stand. (Trade out?)

28. San Diego Chargers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
They don't need a starting QB and Philip Rivers doesn't look like he's going anywhere for a long time. Plus, they have plenty of other holes to fill as they try to keep pace with the Jets and Colts in the AFC. Does that make them a contender to trade out for multiple lower-round picks?

29. New York Jets: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
I don't think anyone is suggesting that this wouldn't be a wild development -- Tebow on Broadway, playing for the voluble Rex Ryan. Of course, the Jets have a starter for the future (and now) in Mark Sanchez, plus a Wildcat guy in Brad Smith. Another contender to trade out, especially because....

30. Minnesota Vikings: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
If there is a scenario that would make teams like the Bills or Browns antsy to trade up into the 20s, it is the very reasonable prospect that the Vikings could take Tebow here, in a move that would instantly become the sensation of the draft -- if only for the concept of "Favre-Tebow" media overload.

31. Indianapolis Colts: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
If the Vikings pass and Tebow is still on the board, the Colts will get plenty of offers to trade out of this pick, allowing the Bills or Browns or anyone else to avoid the extreme uncertainty of the 18-hour hiatus between the 1st round and the 2nd round.

32. New Orleans Saints: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
The champs can afford to be bold and take Tebow -- it would be the draft equivalent of an onside kick in the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl. But, more likely, they will be hit with plenty of offers from teams desperate to avoid a Day 2 bidding war for Tebow. If Tebow is still around, it's a seller's market.

Bonus 2nd-round coverage!
The new draft format creates a fascinating dynamic -- with 18 hours to sift through the prospects on the board, if Tebow is still available, plenty of teams will be jockeying to try to get him -- competing with teams trying to trade up for any "value" picks left.

That's why I think a team serious about Tebow will need to trade into the back of the 1st round to get him; there is simply too much competitive uncertainty if he drops into the 2nd round.

33. St. Louis Rams: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
34. Detroit Lions: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
36. Kansas City Chiefs: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.

I group these as a "Gang of Four." None need Tebow -- the Bucs made a courtesy call in Gainesville during Tebow's Pro Day in March. All need more talent, and they could get extra picks by trading out to a team that wants to jump the line and snag Tebow.

Look at the Bills, Browns, Raiders, Broncos and Patriots for trading up here. The Gang of Four will also have plenty of offers from teams looking for other value picks that are surprisingly left on the board overnight -- or they will keep their picks to snag that talent themselves.

(Keep an eye out for the Chiefs at 36 -- GM Scott Pioli has a working history with both Pats coach Bill Belichick and Broncos coach Josh McDaniels.)

37. Philadelphia Eagles: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
The moment that the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb, I added them to the short list in the Tebow Derby. If Tebow is still around here, they will seriously consider taking him -- but with the Browns, Raiders and Bills jockeying for him, there will be plenty of interest to trade out.

38. Cleveland Browns: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
If the Browns don't take a QB at No. 7 -- and there is no indication that they will -- and Tebow is still on the board here, I think Mike Holmgren takes him and trusts that he can develop him into a starting QB just as the rest of his rebuilding starts to click. No pressure to start/win immediately.

39. Oakland Raiders: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
Mel Kiper may list Tebow's "floor" as the Bills at No. 41, but I think that Al Davis can't help himself if Tebow is still available when Oakland picks here. I think this is the lowest he will go.

40. San Diego Chargers: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
If Tebow is still on the board -- and everyone knows that the Bills are going to take him next -- there will be a frenzy of deal-making to try to trade up and get him. In this scenario, watch the Patriots here.

41. Buffalo Bills: Tim Tebow, QB Florida.
Armchair psychological analysis of Al Davis aside, if Tebow is still on the board here -- and the Bills didn't take Jimmy Clausen with the No. 9 overall pick or elsewhere in the 1st round, there is no way Tebow drops further than this.

43. and 45. Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
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Again, given the signals of Denver's interest, if the Broncos really want Tebow, they will have to use one or both of these 2nd-round picks to get ahead of the Browns at 38 or the Raiders at 39 -- or the Bills, at whatever price they're willing to pay.

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