The 2011 NFL Draft is in the books, and although teams are not able to sign any of their picks or any undrafted free agents, fans all across the country are assessing their teams’ drafts while gauging their team’s chances for success in 2011.
Of course, the opportunity for success is contingent upon there being a 2011 season. However, for the sake of this article, we will move forward assuming there will be.
Yet, as I watched the now three-day event, I noticed a couple of things.
First, shy of getting a defensive tackle, I feel that the Denver Broncos did a wonderful job with their draft. They did not reach for players in the early rounds, made sound trades to acquire more picks and they did not trade away their franchise receiver or quarterback in the process.
The reasoning behind this could be they were not allowed to, but I digress.
The other observation that I have made, both in watching the draft and the ensuing coverage of the draft, is the absolute disdain for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
Before anyone throws the hypocrisy stone at me, I will preface this by being the first to admit that I have been somewhat critical of Tebow. Actually, I have been overly critical of his fans that have migrated to Denver, but in the effort of fairness, Tebow has been the brunt of some of my musings.
What I am about to do now may shock the four people who actually read my articles. Thanks guys. I am going to defend Tim Tebow—and not in the hyperbole-laden fashion in which I once did in the past.
No. Not this time.
In this instance I am going to offer my support for Tebow because after watching the aforementioned programs, it became clear to me there really are people who refuse to accept the fact that Tebow is not only a professional NFL QB, but also that he has the ability to be a good NFL QB.
Four QB’s in 12 Picks
I am not going to try to pontificate about the intangibles or talents of these men. I will leave that to Mel Kiper, Jr.
I will, however, go out on a limb and say that out of the other three, and the first two selected in the second round, none of them came out of college looking any better than Tebow.
In fact, some of them looked downright worse.
Christian Ponder scored well on his Wunderlich test but was an injury plagued QB at Florida State who I believe got crushed by Tebow while he was still at Florida.
Cam Newton completed a total of 250 passes in college—total. He also held Tebow’s water bottle at Florida before going to JuCo. And Jake Locker, who presumably could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, had a completion percentage that hovered around 50 while leading his team to one bowl appearance in four seasons while leading a sub-par Washington Huskies team.
All Better Than Tebow?
Yet, when discussing these players, with the exception of Ponder, every NFL analyst has stated that these guys have the “intangibles to make plays.” There are claims that they are “winners” and “can make plays with their feet.”
They may need some work with their passing skills, but they “can hash those out at the pro level.”
These outstanding credentials were offered up to Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick as well when they were drafted to begin the second round.
Excuse me for a second, but are those not the same credentials that Tebow was offering a team before the draft in 2010?
It only got worse on Friday.
While awaiting Denver’s second pick of their back-to-back scenario, ESPN’s Chris Berman started a conversation regarding the Broncos’ QB situation. Mel Kiper chimed in and commended Tebow on his development last year and went on to say that Denver could be dangerous if Tebow continues to develop—which he believed he would.
However, Jon Gruden, who I admittedly wanted Denver to hire as a coach, offered nothing but ambiguous statements about Tebow. He tapped danced around the question, before shutting the door on Tebow.
Yet, when asked about Locker, he offered praise regarding the aforementioned quick feet, leadership and passing abilities of Locker.
This leads me to think: Why do the media continue to shun Tim Tebow? Did he refuse to speak at their kids’ school?
Pardon the Interruption
The second instance of hypocrisy came when I was watching ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption after Round 1 of the draft.
The two commentators on the show (Michael Wilbon and Dan Le Batard) were discussing how great the QB picks were—again with the exception of Christian Ponder.
Moreover, they went on to the mention how the success of Aaron Rodgers as a mobile QB must have played a role in the teams’ decisions to draft a QB of the caliber in which they did.
Again, just so we are on the same page. A mobile QB is now going to make a difference and help a team win?
Why has this become so this year but was so readily rejected last year?
I religiously watch PTI so can attest that the sentiment of the commentators toward the selection of Tebow was not as gracious last year.
Why do these QB’s, who are clearly inferior when it comes to the success Tebow had in college, get offered the golden ticket to success in the NFL instead of the Road to Perdition, which Tebow continues to endure?
Better yet, how does a guy who took his team to one bowl game in four years by completing a mere 50 percent of his passes, get labeled a “great pick, hard worker, who can make plays with his feet” look like a better prospect than Tebow?
How is Locker better than a guy who won two titles, a Heisman and shattered records all through the strongest football conference in the nation’s record book?
I know that I have been critical with regard to Tebow in the the past, but in this instance, this is wrong. As I write, I tend to let my opinions get the best of me. I guess in that regard it is a good thing I write opinion articles.
I will entertain any theories, comments and criticisms.