Tim Tebow Mistake: With Kyle Orton Dominating, Denver Broncos Blew Draft Choice

Reid BrooksAnalyst IOctober 4, 2010

Tim Tebow's foreseeable future is on the sideline
Tim Tebow's foreseeable future is on the sidelineDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

It is starting to appear that the Denver Broncos made a mistake by selecting Tim Tebow in the first round.

The other first round selection the Broncos made, Demaryius Thomas, is already making ample contributions to the offense, despite the fact that he has three veterans clearly above him on the depth chart. Tebow's opportunities will be extremely limited for now.

The reason being is that Kyle Orton is starting to look like a premier NFL quarterback. After today's victory at Tennessee, which answered many questions about his ability in the red zone, Orton probably couldn't get any better.

He has already passed what virtually everyone thought was his ceiling in the NFL.

When the Broncos offense stalled today, it had everything to do with receivers bobbling passes, or the horrendous running game. Josh McDaniels should be on the phone right now trying to figure out how to get the Broncos a competent rusher; Orton performed better running the ball than any of the running backs today.

And even with the lack of a running game to set him up, as the Broncos took on the league's best red zone defense (and a defense that had only allowed a couple of touchdowns on the season) Orton managed another brilliant performance.

Now, Kyle has 1,419 yards on the season with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He is ranked fifth amongst all quarterbacks in fantasy football (and in many leagues is still available on the waiver wire, so get him) and perhaps more importantly, he is leading the league in yards amongst quarterbacks.

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Even if one were to ignore his 96.3 passer rating and his 5,000-yard season pace, it would be hard to ignore that he is accomplishing everything without any other true offensive stars around him.

Demaryius Thomas might be one soon, but he isn't one yet. Despite a great early performance, Brandon Lloyd isn't one either.

Orton will not be replaced anytime soon. Now that we're officially a quarter of the way through the season, it is impossible to argue that his performance is a fluke. Because the Denver job should be assumed to belong to Kyle until his play drops substantially (because Tim Tebow literally cannot play at this level) many are probably questioning the drafting of Tim Tebow in the first round.

The Broncos spent a lot on back up quarterbacks this season. Brady Quinn came at the price of Peyton Hillis (who would be very helpful in the Denver backfield right now) and a late pick. Tebow came at the expense of a second, third, and fourth round pick (in the deepest draft in years) that the Broncos could have used on a running back and some defensive help.

While Tim Tebow is young and certainly has some promise, he may not be needed in Denver. There are other positions of clear need which are emerging, and quarterback certainly isn't one of them.

I wouldn't argue that Tim Tebow is bad. I would argue that he was an unnecessary first round selection for the Denver Broncos given the way things have panned out. That is, of course, unless you believe that bringing in Quinn and Tebow lit a fire under Orton that pushed him to perform at his current level.

Denver needs help in multiple areas. The team is anything but perfect.

However, the quarterback play couldn't realistically get much better. Kyle Orton is accomplishing things that Jay Cutler never thought of accomplishing in Denver even with Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler.

In fact, I don't believe John Elway ever led a team to this type of offensive start.

But the humble Orton just keeps talking about getting better. And if he can, that would make for a terrifying image for defenses around the league.

The guy who was described by ESPN commentators after the Jay Cutler trade as a "bus driver with a prominent neckbeard" is in the process of getting the last laugh. And as a result, Tebow's foreseeable future is on the bench; that isn't where most teams like to invest their first round value.