After a scintillating combine performance the epic interrogative of which team will trade up to procure the second overall pick from the St. Louis Rams and use the pick to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin has gained momentum. While the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins remain the clubhouse leaders to pull off a mega-deal to land the Heisman Trophy winner not only may a "mystery team" become involved in the bidding but it may be a squad that few would suspect.
The Denver Broncos, fresh off a surprising playoff appearance under second-year signal-caller and fan favorite Tim Tebow, may be one of the clubs interested in taking a run at Robert Griffin, at least according to a report by John Czarnecki of FOX Sports.
One mystery team might be the Broncos. John Elway loves the Heisman winner, and it’s been no secret that their scouting department did extensive homework on college quarterbacks last fall.
It's far from a secret that despite Tebow leading the Broncos to an AFC West title last year and a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers that the Denver front office and Elway are far from sold on Tebow as the long-term answer for the Broncos under center. While Elway gave Tebow an endorsement of sorts recently he's also made it clear that the team will address the position this offseason.
He added a great spark for us, and we really had some good things happen to us. I was really happy with his progress. I know Tim’s going to work hard this off-season. We’re hoping that he’s going to be the guy for a long, long time.
That quantified endorsement is likely borne of Tebow's career 47.3 percent completion percentage and a throwing motion that inspires more cringes than applause, and given Griffin's superior passing ability and outstanding athleticism the argument can certainly be made that Griffin has the much higher upside of the pair.
So, if Griffin has more potential, why not make a deal?
The biggest reason, besides the backlash among Broncos fans that the benching of the wildly popular Tebow might generate, is simple...price.
Griffin's performance at the combine raised the already high sticker price that the second overall pick will almost certainly command, and as NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt recently told the Cleveland Plain Dealer it may take as many as three first-round picks to land the Baylor standout.
From what I've heard, the Rams could be looking for an exchange of firsts this year and two other firsts
It may be fun for some sportswriters and Broncos fans to imagine Elway making a huge play to secure his "quarterback of the future," but if that really is the cost it will take to acquire the second pick it's too high a price for a team that has as many other needs as the Broncos, possesses playoff aspirations, and has a quarterback in Tebow that, even if he wins ugly, wins.
The Denver Broncos need to take a deep breath, pray that Tebow's offseason workouts improve his ability throwing the rock, and take a step back from the ledge, because if they were to trade a boatload of picks to the Rams for Griffin the Broncos would take one step forward at quarterback and two steps back as a team.