Tebow a show-stopper

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

We’ll say this for controversial Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels: The man has stones the size of the Rocky Mountains.

Having run star quarterback Jay Cutler and stud wide receiver Brandon Marshall out of town in the past 14 months, the brash McDaniels may have pulled off an even bolder move during the 2010 NFL draft Thursday night.

Tim Tebow, welcome to the Mile High City.

Sending shockwaves throughout the swank Radio City Music Hall, McDaniels and the Broncos, through a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, acquired the 25th overall pick in order to select Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback with the University of Florida.

Many observers criticized Tebow for his poor play at the Senior Bowl, causing him to re-tool his throwing motion prior to the draft. Even with that, many mock drafts didn’t have him taken before the second round.

Obviously, McDaniels didn’t care what the skeptics said. And Tebow is grateful for that.

“Only one team has to like you,” Tebow said. “This time it was a great coach in Coach McDaniels. I am so blessed to go there.”

Note to Tebow: There was another team that liked you, as well. That would be the Buffalo Bills. And they were reportedly attempting to trade into the latter stages of the first round to get you, only to have their hopes crushed by McDaniels.

The Bills weren’t the only ones left heartbroken on this night. The same could be said for Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, who came into the draft as the second-ranked quarterback on the board after Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford who, as expected, was made the first overall pick by the St. Louis Rams.

Prior to the acquisition of Donovan McNabb two weeks ago, the Washington Redskins, holding the No. 4 pick, were said to be interested in Clausen.

Instead, he surprisingly slid right out of the first round, a freefall that was even worse than those experienced by Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers in recent years.

A week ago, NFL draftniks would have called you looney tunes had you suggested Tebow would be selected before Clausen. Yet, that’s exactly what happened.

Having picked speed demon running back C.J. Spiller out of Clemson at No. 9, the Bills might have some work to do if they plan on addressing their quarterback position in the second round Friday night.

Clausen and Texas pivot Colt McCoy are still available, but maybe not for long. The Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns may snap up those two by the time the Bills pick at No. 41, meaning Buffalo may have to trade up to get one of them.

While the Bills now have a glut at running back with the game-breaking Spiller, up-and-comer Fred Jackson and trouble child Marshawn Lynch, general manager Buddy Nix said the speedster’s raw skill was just too impressive to pass up.

“We have said this all along, we are void of big playmakers,” Nix said. “We have good players, but a guy that has this kind of world class speed can help us in so many ways.”

Consider that 21 of Spiller’s 52 college touchdowns went for 50 yards or more.

Meanwhile, three of the top four selections in the draft, including Bradford, were Oklahoma Sooners.

Bradford was followed by behemoth Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, now a Detroit Lion. Then came two more Oklahoma players — defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and offensive tackle Trent Williams, who is now a Washington Redskin.

“You grow up dreaming of one day playing in the NFL. It’s a dream come true,” Bradford said.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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