Broncos pick Tim Tebow with 25th pick
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Josh McDaniels made former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow a first-round NFL draft pick Thursday.
The Denver Broncos traded three picks to Baltimore for the Ravens’ first-round pick, then took Tebow at No. 25 with two more polished quarterbacks, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, still available.
Tebow helped Florida win two national championships in the Gators’ run-heavy system, but many wondered whether he was worthy of a first-round selection because his skills may not translate to some NFL teams’ passing-centric offenses.
McDaniels believes Tebow will fit in just fine in Denver.
The Broncos gave up choices in the second (No. 43), third (No. 70) and fourth (No. 114) rounds to move back into the first round and draft Florida’s southpaw quarterback, whom McDaniels had raved about last week.
Although it’s highly unlikely he’ll be the starting quarterback in five months’ time, Tebow will begin his NFL career Sept. 12 in his hometown of Jacksonville when the Broncos play the Jaguars in the season opener.
Right now he’s behind Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and maybe even Tom Brandstater at quarterback, although with his athleticism, Tebow could play tight end or on special teams, too.
Although he has started to correct his sidearm throwing motion, Tebow will have to adjust to taking snaps under center and dropping back while dodging the pass rush after operating almost exclusively out of the shotgun in college.
Three spots before picking Tebow, the Broncos selected wide receiver Demaryius Thomas of Georgia Tech with the 22nd pick. The Broncos needed a big, athletic wide receiver after trading two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins last week, and at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds he fit the bill.
At his pre-draft news conference, McDaniels gushed about Tebow, who thoroughly impressed him and his staff during a visit to Dove Valley.
“You look at the tape, and the only thing that you can say about the tape that isn’t flattering or very impressive is that he dips the ball a hair (in his throwing motion). He has already fixed that,” McDaniels said. “I think that’s something that you can fix through repetition. He’s already done it. He proved that at his pro day. Everything else that you’re watching on film is accurate, tough, smart, good leader, versatile, can move out of the pocket, can move in the pocket, can run with the ball. What is he, the third-leading passer all-time and the leading scorer in rushing touchdowns over Herschel (Walker)?
“There are so many things that you can say about the kid,” McDaniels said. “Then, to top that all off, he’s every bit the person that you read about before you got the chance to meet him. He’s very enthusiastic, wants to work hard, smart, bright, one of the smarter players I’ve ever been around in terms of coming out of college.”
Asked last week how quickly Tebow could play quarterback in the NFL, McDaniels said that depended on who picked him.
“If you talk to him, it’ll be the day he’s drafted. But I don’t know that. That’s a good question. I think it depends on where he goes, the system he’s going into, what you’re trying to do with him and also who’s there,” McDaniels said. “He’s got to compete. If he was here, he’s got to compete with players that have already played in the National Football League and started a lot of games and won games.”
McDaniels, who made four trades in his first NFL draft last year, made two deals before selecting Thomas over Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant, considered by many the most dynamic receiver in the draft. Bryant went to Dallas two picks later.
Thomas broke a foot a week before the NFL combine and his background is in the run-first option offense. But with sub-4.4 times in the 40 before his injury, Thomas had too much size and speed for the Broncos to ignore.
McDaniels had the No. 11 pick to start the night but traded it to San Francisco for the Niners’ 13th overall selection, which he sent to Philadelphia to move down to No. 22. He wasn’t done, packing a trio of picks to move back into the first round and take Tebow.
All this wheeling and dealing left the Broncos with six more picks in rounds 2-7.
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