Why the Jaguars Shouldn't Draft Tim Tebow

QB Tim Tebow (Dave Martin)

There seems to be a vocal group in Jacksonville and around the country that believe it would be beneficial for the Jacksonville Jaguars to draft Tim Tebow. Many think it will sell tickets for a struggling franchise, and some believe his "intangibles" will pave the way for a career of glory.

Amongst those who think this local hero can resurrect his local franchise, there are legions of experts which believe he won't amount to much, if anything, at the NFL level. I'm not going to rehash all of the arguments as to why Tim Tebow probably will not be a successful NFL quarterback. We already all know about his elongated wind-up. We know about his poor footwork, the questions about his arm strength, and his inability to play under center. I'm not even going to point out his obvious uncomfortability when he has to sit in the pocket and go through his progressions. After his abysmal performance during the week of practices and in the game at the Senior Bowl, I think most people realize if he were to be an NFL quarterback, he'd need quite a few seasons of sitting and learning. Not to mention drafting Tim Tebow early comes off solely as a ticket grab, and I believe it will turn just as many people off as it will attract to the stadium. People have to remember: Jacksonville is a melting pot of people. It's a port city and a military town, not everyone in Jacksonville is a Florida Gator fan and not everyone who is a Jaguar fan is also a Gator fan.

Now that many have come to the realization that Tim Tebow is not only not a first-round pick, but also likely not a quarterback, the argument has shifted to drafting him in the later rounds to change positions. In theory, this sounds fine. However, I think it is the Jacksonville Jaguars long-term best interest to not even touch Tim Tebow in the NFL draft. Most of this has to do with the fact that Tebow likely won't be all that great even if he changes positions to tight end or H-back. It's likely Tebow might become a good special teams player and an H-back at the next level, but he's not nearly as athletic as a lot of people seem to think he is, he's neither fast nor agile. He doesn't make people miss, he tries to run them over. That won't work in the NFL.

Many will argue that Tim Tebow will sell massive tickets for the Jacksonville Jaguars, I'll argue he won't. People can say they'll buy tickets if "X" happens, but that doesn't mean they will. It of course doesn't mean they won't either, but talk is cheap. I remember prior to 2007, there was a polarizing debate between who the quarterback should be, Byron Leftwich or David Garrard. I distinctly remember hearing on local Jacksonville sports radio a plethora of people saying if the Jaguars were to cut Leftwich, start Garrard, or both; they would then buy season tickets. Well, it happened... and the first regular season home game struggled to lift the blackout. The second home game of the season against the Falcons was blacked out. The whole rest of the season, the Jaguars struggled to lift blackouts of their homes games... and this was an 11-5 football team. What happened to all of those people who said they would buy tickets? They said they would buy them, but they didn't. I think if the Jaguars drafted Tebow in the later rounds, where he's correctly projected to go, it would have a similar result. The couple preseason games would sell out, but once people realize he's either not any good or not playing... why would they continue to buy tickets to see the player they wanted sit on the sideline? He's certainly not going to start immediately. He'd instantly be behind the depth chart at fullback and likely 3rd or 4th on the depth chart at tight end. Not to mention the screams for "Tebow" will be over the top on the obnoxious level in the stadium. It already reached that point last year, and he was still playing an hour and half south in Gainesville and on a different day.

The biggest reason I feel the Jaguars should just take a complete pass on Tim Tebow is the fact of how polarizing he is. The fan backlash the Jacksonville Jaguars will receive from "letting another team draft Timmy" will be exponentially less than if they were to draft Tebow and he was a complete flop or just a special teams contributor. If he fails, it won't be Tim Tebow's fault. It will be the Jaguars fault. It will be the coaching staffs fault, for not knowing how to use him in the correct way. It will be Wayne Weaver's fault for not adequately providing him with enough help to be successful. Not only that, but the argument will shaft back to how many questions there were about him in the draft, and how Jacksonville should have never drafted him. If the Jaguars draft Tebow and he's unsuccessful, that could finally be the coup de gras for the Jaguars. It would be the Jaguars fault for the demise of the local football hero.

Sure, if the Jaguars skip on Tebow and he becomes a successful player, many people in Jacksonville will be angry the Jaguars skipped on him... but they'll get over it. The people who said they would only buy tickets if Tebow were drafted likely aren't actually going to buy them anyway. Even if they did, they'd stop when they realized he wasn't any good. They're not the market the Jaguars are looking for anyway. They're not looking for a stop-gap to the ticket sales issues. They're looking for a solution.

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