Tim Tebow is an anomaly, but will he be good enough in camp to make the Jaguars roster?
Tim Tebow’s accolades are worth mentioning due to his success with the Florida Gators. Tebowmania took the college football world by storm as the once quarterback won the coveted Heisman Trophy on his way to becoming one of the staples of the sport during the 2000s.
That mania has returned in less than a week since his arrival with the NFL.
Tebow agreed to a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars after not playing a snap since 2015. Thanks to former Florida coach Urban Meyer, he’ll have the chance to make the final 53 not as a quarterback, but rather a tight end.
In the same span it’s taken for people to realize this isn’t a joke, Tebow has become the No. 1 selling jersey in the NFL. More than Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, he’s yet to take a snap and people are lining up to rep No. 85.
Can that No. 85 make the final roster though in Duval County?
Tebow’s chances rely on how fast he can pick up the pace
No matter his relationship with Meyer, Tebow still will have to earn his keep and prove he’s worthy of a roster spot in camp. That means improving as a route-runner, winning at the line of scrimmage and show he can be an effective blocker when called upon.
Switching positions is challenging in multiple degrees, but it has been done before with quarterback to tight end. Logan Thomas was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2014 to play under center. After three seasons of poor production, he elected to switch roles and learn to play tight end.
Thomas is coming off a career season in Washington in which he recorded 72 catches 670 yards and six touchdowns.
Then again, he never stopped playing football. Tebow hung up the pigskin and picked up a bat with the New York Mets organization for the last five seasons.
From a hand-eye coordination standpoint, Tebow should be good. As a physical player, that will be interesting to see. Although he would lower his shoulder to drive forward in college as a runner, times have changed on the gridiron.
Linebackers has safety speed. Safeties pulverize open-field targets. Defensive ends are faster than ever, with the same frame as they were back in 2015. Is Tebow ready for that? In college, Tebow won most match ups because of his competitive nature and terrific blocking.
That doesn’t working in the NFL. Instead, Tebow will be doing most of the blocking for incumbent No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence.
Connections get people through the door, but only production keeps a player employed. Tebow’s contract is a low-risk for Jacksonville and one that could pay dividends if he hits right away. In reality, a 33-year-old playing a new position after over five years away will have a low success rate no matter the talent.
It’s a longshot for Tebow to make the roster. For now, it’s best to think if he’s on the 53, it’s to help as a locker room leader. Nothing more, nothing less.