Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was one of the best college football players ever. He has also turned into one of the most polarizing players in recent memory.
After being chosen with the 25th overall pick by the Denver Broncos, everyone has an opinion about his viability as a pro.
Tebow is a project.
I believe that he will be the Opening Day starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos' 2011-2012 season.
He joins three other quarterbacks on the Denver roster. But unless he is injured, it is a safe bet that Tim Tebow will be the starter. Here are five reasons why...
He will be playing on a one-year contract and will likely not be offered a long term deal.
Basically, the team has told him: "We like you now, but are waiting for something better to come along."
If the team felt good about him they would have signed him to a two or three year deal.
So they are gambling that he will either be gone next year or not have a better option and resign him for very little money. Orton is a serviceable quarterback, but they are not going to build a team around him.
For the time being, he is a placeholder at QB until Josh McDaniels is ready for a younger quarterback, such as Tebow, to take over.
If you are putting your chips behind Brady Quinn, you would be making a mistake.
By the way, I would love to know Quinn's reaction to Thursday night's draft. I am guessing he was not thrilled.
The good news: He will be given every chance to win the starting job. If Denver did not want him, then they would not have traded for him.
The bad news: He can't beat out Orton. And even if he can, his body of work in Cleveland shows that he doesn't have the goods to be a capable starter.
Quinn is a great kid and I am rooting for him. I know Cleveland was horrible, but he became simply another part of the problem there.
If that had not been the case, then he would have stayed and the Browns would not be drafting another quarterback.
Litmus test: Can you see Brady Quinn leading the Broncos to the AFC playoffs? It's likely it won't happen.
Let's be clear, Josh McDaniels has bet his job on Tim Tebow.
If Tebow is a bust, then McDaniels will be fired. If Tebow is a success, then he will reach NFL guru status and obtain long term job security in Denver.
After running off Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, there are no more players to blame for the team's failures. If his players do not produce, then fans will want someone fired.
That someone will be McDaniels.
A first round quarterback bust means someone will lose their job. You can tell people that Tebow is a long term project, but they won't believe you if the team is not winning.
If Tebow fails, then McDaniels will join other offensive guru wannabes in unemployment. In other words, you can bet someone will ask, "why?" if Tebow never sees the field.
To justify the pick, Tebow has to play. He can play as an H-back or in the "Wild Horses" formation for now. But first round quarterbacks start in the NFL. If they don't deliver, they're gone.
The favorite player on any football team is the backup quarterback. Just ask Donvan McNabb.
Kevin Kolb will now lead Philadelphia's offense after waiting two years in McNabb's wings.
If Denver struggles, people are going to want to see more of Tebow. If fans believe that Orton and Quinn are not getting the job done, they will demand change.
Your fan base gets impatient and, well, you know how that goes.
Everyone talks about his intangibles. Forget that.
He will start because he will likely be the only option. Unless you believe in the power of current third-stringer Tom Brandstater. He will play immediately in Denver's "Wild Horses" package along with Knowshon Moreno.
Prediction: Tebow will have a 10 to 20-play package and will share time with Orton next year. I see him successful running those plays as the team struggles to score points.
The fact that Orton is gone after this season and Quinn is not the answer means Tebow becomes the inevitable go-to guy. Welcome to the NFL, Tim. You have become the last, best hope for the Denver Broncos for the next 5-10 years.
Now, I have no clue about whether he will be successful. That will become apparent soon enough. But I am fairly certain that Tebow will not be holding a clipboard for long in Denver.