NFL Draft 2012: Brandon Weeden and QBs Broncos Should Target to Push Tim Tebow

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterJanuary 30, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos looks on against the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

A miraculous sophomore season earned Tim Tebow first dibs on the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback gig...heading into training camp, that is.

In the meantime, the Broncos' front office has made it clear that they will continue to seek out quality signal-callers—via free agency and the 2012 NFL Draft—to push Tebow and/or replace him if the whole "divine intervention" thing doesn't work out.

John Elway wasn't shy about sharing his thoughts on the situation at the Senior Bowl, telling the Denver Post: "We will be in the market to find more quarterbacks. That's our approach with Tim being our starter as we go to training camp, that we'll look at free agency and the draft."

Some vote of confidence for Timmy. He added that he'll be on the lookout for "the big athlete who can throw the ball from the pocket."

Again, in other words, he'll be looking for Not Tim Tebow.

Denver has too many needs at too many other positions to spend its first-round pick (the 25th overall) on a quarterback, though these three prospects should be well within the Broncos' reach anywhere between the second and the fifth round.

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Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden has all the requisite tools and ability to be a first-round pick. He's big (6'4, 220 pounds), has a strong arm and completed just under 70 percent of his passes as a full-time starter at Oklahoma State.

So what's holding him back from going on the first day, you ask? Simple—his age. Weeden is currently 28, after spending five years as a pitcher in the minor leagues and another four with the Pokes.

That being said, his elder statesmanship and prior experience as a professional athlete may actually make him more attractive to the Broncos, who are in the market for a quarterback who's mature enough to start out as a backup and to step in if things don't work out so well with Timmy.

Nick Foles

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys throws a pass against the Stanford Cardinal  during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Oklahoma State won 41-38 in
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Nick Foles isn't exactly a late-20s married man like Weeden, but he's not baby-faced football player, either. The 23-year-old began his collegiate career at Michigan State in 2007 before moving on to Arizona, so he comes equipped with at least some measure of patience.

Well, for that and the fact that the Wildcats were something of a disappointment during his three years with them, despite completing better than 67 percent of his passes and throwing for 67 touchdowns and more than 10,000 yards.

Oh, and have I mentioned that Foles has a fantastic frame (6'5", 240 pounds) for a future NFL quarterback?

Tebow just might be left shaking in his boots if the Broncos nab Foles in the second or third round. 

Ryan Lindley

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 19:  Quarterback Nick Foles #8 of the Arizona Wildcats throws a pass during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devi
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If the Broncos are content to wait a bit longer to draft a more under-the-radar prospect, they could easily opt for Ryan Lindley. The 6'4", 230 pounder out of San Diego State wasn't exactly the most accurate passer during his Aztec days, though he did start all four years and showed some promise at the Senior Bowl.

Lindley should be available in the fourth or fifth round, if not later, giving the Broncos some time to decide if they really want to use a draft pick to scare Tebow straight...into being a good pocket passer.