Does anyone know who was set to replace Chris Leak at Florida before the great Tim Tebow signed? That's right Gator fans. It was Jevan Snead, the junior QB from Ole Miss who last season led the Rebels to a win in the Swamp over Tebow's Gators. Before this college football season began, Snead was considered a guy who could contend with Sam Bradford as the top pick in this years NFL Draft. Snead, who was marred by inconsistency and a lack of talent both on the offensive line and lack of playmakers outside of Dexter McCluster struggled to the tune of 20 TD's and 20 int's this past year. Because of this subpar junior season, Snead is now projected as a 3rd round pick at best, which for the QB starving Jags would fit perfectly for these couple of reasons:
1. The pressure to start him is not immediate:
If the Jags do take Tim Tebow, while I have no question that he would cause an immediate impact on ticket sales, I am also equally confident that he will struggle mightily if forced to start from Day 1, and lets be honest, the 5,000 to 10,000 new season ticket holders Tebow may attract are not paying that money to watch him hold a clipboard for David Garrard. They want him to start from the opening OTA's scrimmage, which for anyone who watched the Senior Bowl knows is just not realistic. Snead however, can start this season as a backup and learn the system from David and, depending on how quickly he picks up the offense, could replace him by midseason or be a starter at latest by 2011.
2.He has the arm strength and knowledge of a pro-style offense:
Snead, while playing in a somewhat gimmicky offense under Houston Nutt at Ole Miss, also took snaps from under center, which is essential for any QB in the NFL. Snead has put up solid numbers during his collegiate career with 5,765 yards and 48 touchdowns in essentially 2 years as a starter. Now while his numbers dropped this past year, with 6 less TD,s and 7 more picks,he was forced to be the only main component of the offense with no O-line and no traditional running game The Jags will have two bookend tackles to protect him and a Pro-Bowl RB in MJD, plus a stable of young but talented receivers led by Mike Sims-Walker.
3.He comes at a cheap price:
As a 3rd rounder, the Jags can address on of their biggest needs, which is defense in the first round (Rolando McClain anyone?) and still pick up a guy who talent wise can be their franchise QB of the future. Snead would come under the standard rookie contract (about 3 years with a base pay around $500,000) and the Jags wouldn't have to worry about a long holdout with a rookie QB (Byron, anyone?).
In closing, I don't think we can emphasize enough how important this Draft is to not only the Jags but the entire city of Jacksonville as a whole. Now is the time to "Restore the Roar" and a Texan named Snead can lead the way.