With all the handwringing, moaning, and sighing about what a huge risk Josh McDaniels took in using the No. 25 overall pick of the 2010 draft on Tim Tebow, let's try to ascertain what a realistic projection for quarterbacks taken in that area are.
There have been a half dozen or so quarterbacks drafted between No. 20 overall in round one and No. 30 overall, which would be the "area of expectation" as far as Tebow is concerned. Most recently, Brady Quinn, at No. 22 overall in 2007.
Quinn did not start a game in his first season and has yet to establish himself as a starter after three years in the league. Prior to that were Aaron Rodgers and Jason Campbell at No. 24 and No. 25 in 2005. Rodgers rode the bench for three seasons before getting a start, but has been solid ever since.
But we must remember Aaron was rated much higher in the draft and considered a possible No. 1 overall pick right up to the last moment. The same was true to a lesser extent with Quinn. Campbell didn't get a start his first season, but has gradually developed into a mediocre starter in the league.
A year earlier J.P. Losman was the No. 22 overall pick, he too did not start a game as a rookie and remains a backup in the league six years running. Rex Grossman, also drafted No. 22 overall, was the only one of the players who managed to start in his rookie season, if only for three games. In the intervening eight seasons he has failed to solidify that status.
So really the bar is not set all that high for Tebow as a late first round QB choice. If he manages even one start in the coming season, he is above average in that department. If he becomes even a mediocre starter four or five years down the road, he is once again above average based on historical precedent.
For those who would chime in that "it cost the team several picks to move up for Tebow," the net worth of those picks by the value chart would only have moved it up to No. 23 overall from No. 25.
The quarterbacks mentioned above were drafted at an average of about No. 23 in the draft. Plus all the choices they used were extra picks acquired in previous trades.