NO LONGER DENVER BRONCOS!
While at first the Broncos trade hit a brief snag with the Jets, Tebow is now officially a member of the New York Jets. This is quite a bummer considering the price of NFL jerseys these days... I mean, even though I'm a Tebow fan and not a Broncos fan, nobody wants to be like that guy who always wears a New York Jets FAVRE jersey. I mean, really?
And what were the Broncos thinking anyway? Peyton Manning cannot throw nearly as accurate a wobbler as Tebow! Tebow has hands down one of the best wobblers I have ever seen. Period. End of discussion.
In Denver, Manning will be in an optimal situation with one the most complete teams on which he has ever been. Led by two-time Pro Bowler Ryan Clady, Manning will enjoy a very solid offensive line to go along with a productive run game. Young receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker give Manning okay options who could blossom with a competent quarterback throwing to them. For the two receivers that combined for 76 catches, 1163 yards, and 12 touchdowns, you can expect something more like that for EACH this season.
Here are the WR/TE (combined) rankings for Manning's top two targets since 2002.
- 2010: 9th, 30th
- 2009: 6th, 12th
- 2008: 15th, 31st
- 2007: 4th, 27th
- 2006: 1st, 3rd
- 2005: 6th, 21st
- 2004: 5th, 7th
- 2003: 5th, 21st
- 2002: 1st, 50th
While neither receiver is polished or a big name yet, I expect some drastic improvement. However, one area for concern is their ability to hold onto the ball. Both receivers ranked in the bottom twenty receivers for drop percentages of those who had at least 30 catchable balls thrown their way. Of 53 catchable balls thrown Decker's way, he caught 44, resulting in 9 drops for a drop percentage of 16.98 percent. Of 37 catachable balls thrown Thomas' way, he caught 32, resulting in 5 drops for a drop percentage of 13.51 percent. (numbers courtesy of https://www.profootballfocus.com/)
These numbers are alarming, but I think they will change with another year under their belt and that guy named Manning throwing to them. No joke. Going from a high and behind wobbler to a laser to the chest could make a crucial difference. Gone are the days of diving into traffic for balls. Gone are the days of Tebow missing them when they were actually open. Enter crisp routes where the ball will be thrown there right on time to the chest. Enter, Peyton Manning.
So what does this all mean? Well, for starters, Manning will surely be a top 10, maybe even top five quarterback again. Expect Demaryius Thomas to be a top 15, maybe even top 10 wide receiver while Eric Decker has the potential to be anywhere from a top 30 to top 15 wide receiver. As of now, I would expect to draft both somewhere among the top 20 wide receivers.
As for Denver's running backs, I would avoid them, but expect solid contributions from a mix of Knowshon Moreno, Willis McGahee, and even Lance Ball. If one is able to emerge as the clear cut starter, expect production similar or slightly better than the days of Joseph Addai.
Finally. All this Tebow news did not come without the expense of my own personal happiness and dignity.
11:32 AM, March 21st.
I thought I received the best news of my life.
Walking through the Chick-Fil-A parking lot, I get a text from a trustworthy, reliable friend. I read the words, "Dude, Tebow just signed with the Packers." Immediately, I jumped up and down, screaming like a little girl, probably much like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert. My heart pounded. My body leaped for joy. My sisters backed away from me. Slowly. Pretending not to know me...
I ran inside Chick-Fil-A and began began searching for the article on ESPN when to my dismay, I found out my that friend was misinformed. Tebow was heading to the Jets. What would have been my wildest dream come true, was now over. The hope of Aaron Rodgers and staff turning Tebow into a real quarterback had been crushed. My dream, my hope, my heart, flipped upside down.