Draft picks, or Tim Tebow?

The Jets dealt actual draft value to get Tebow, value they could've used

Originally Published: December 16, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

Tim TebowStephen Brashear/AP PhotoThe Jets didn't just add Tim Tebow, they actually gave up some draft value to do so.

When Tim Tebow was traded by Denver to the Jets back in March, the story became -- surprise! -- all about Tebow. How would he fit with the Jets? Could he make the offense better? What kind of special offensive packages would they build for him? Would the Wildcat come to New York? Could he push Mark Sanchez? Could he become the starter?

What nobody seemed to be talking about was that New York gave up real value to get him. When you see NFL trades discussed, if it doesn't involve an early-round pick, analysts are often pretty flippant about what changed hands, as if middle-round picks don't mean much. "Well, the Jets just dumped a fourth to get the deal done, so if Tebow doesn't work out, no big deal." But that's not true. Teams don't just hope to get at least one or two starters out of the middle-to-late rounds each year, the good teams often do. Now, I have nothing bad to say about Tebow as a person, but I've been pretty consistent in my evaluation of him as a quarterback. I just don't think he's a starter in this league, and I've suggested a number of times that coaches consider moving him around to get more value out of him. The guy is a great, great athlete, but he hasn't created any on-the-field value for New York.

We were discussing it this week, and my editors asked me whether there were some players who could actually be helping the Jets right now instead of Tebow. And you know, there are. The Jets gave up a fourth- and sixth-rounder for Tebow. That first pick ended up as No. 108 overall. Here are some guys taken beyond that who could help the Jets.

Again, this isn't intended to be a slam on the trade, it's an example of why trading picks really can mean forgoing value.

Offense

Alfred Morris, RB (6th round, No. 173)

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst