The NFL Draft could not have turned out better as the three Gators expected to be drafted in the first round made it. Joe Haden was the first to go, getting picked 7th by the Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers picked Maurkice Pouncey at 18. The star of the show was pick 25, Tim Tebow to the Denver Broncos.
Haden could have slid backwards, but the Browns and new team president Mike Holmgren put a premium on Haden's game play and not Combine times. The Browns brass seem pretty pleased with Haden, but the comments on this article are not as good. I guess when you have never won a Super Bowl you can expect to pick only guys who run 4.2s and are 6-foot-6 with a massive wingspan. These guys apparently thought another All-American, Eric Berry, would fall to the Browns.
The Steelers very much like Pouncey, who impressed the Pittsburgh staff with his football IQ. The Steelers have already penciled in Pouncey as right guard, which gives Pouncey time to grow into his new role. Pouncey played guard at UF too, but with the money invested in Pouncey, it is hard to see him staying at guard for long. Steeler fans seem happy with the pick, although they think they picked #55 Mike Pouncey. I wonder if they knew Pouncey was a twin?
While Florida fans are ordering their Tebow jerseys in Bronco Orange and Navy, Denver fans are not sure what to make of the pick. A few can't bring themselves to be against the pick because they know Kyle Orton is a free agent at the end of this season and Brady Quinn has only played 14 games in three seasons. Tebow is the least experienced of the three, but the most upside. Others hate the pick, including the Crypt Keeper, John Clayton. Clayton is at least an intelligent guy, even if you disagree with him. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco wrote shit on a plate, added Tebow a few times, and published it.
The argument for or against Tebow reminds me of the argument for or against sabermetrics in baseball. If you think your quarterback has to look, feel and throw a certain way, you like Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy. If not, you'll take Tebow, let Orton go at the end of 2010 and watch Tebow try to win the starting gig. It should be noted that of ESPN's coverage, the two guys who have won Super Bowl rings (Jon Gruden, Steve Young) endorsed the Tebow pick. They also know what it means to develop a quarterback. You know who else can develop a quarterback? Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. He worked with Tom Brady, made Matt Cassel an NFL starter, was 200 yards short of making Orton a 4,000 yard passer.
As for the one team that probably should have picked Tebow? Some of their fans think the team is moving to Los Angeles. Nice pick, Jags.