Draft leftovers: The Tebow factor

April, 29, 2012
4/29/12
6:03
PM ET
Before the draft, GM Mike Tannenbaum said Tim Tebow's presence -- i.e. his versatility -- could have a "subtle" influence on the Jets' draft plan.

ESPN analyst Bill Polian thinks it was more than subtle. The former Colts GM made a Tebow reference on the air Saturday, commenting immediately after the Jets took Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway in the sixth round.

“When you look at what Ganaway did in college ... option," Polian said. "What did Tim Tebow run in college? Option. You got a package right there. There’s your package. That’s part of what they drafted here."

Actually, the Jets drafted three players that came from option attacks in college -- Ganaway, Baylor G Robert T. Griffin and Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill. Hmm.

As everybody knows by now, the Jets are planning to use Tebow in the wildcat. In reality, it probably will be more of a read-option attack. By definition, the wildcat is when a running back takes the direct snap. Not surprisingly, Tannenbaum dismissed Polian's theory.

"We rated the players for us, as Jets," he said Saturday night. "We use the same grading system and that would just be coincidence."

Tannenbaum, however, mentioned Tebow's name when discussing the backfield depth chart -- specifically, John Conner and Josh Baker at fullback.

"We like the versatility that Josh Baker brings and how much Tim Tebow factors into that analysis," he said, referring to the 95th-best player in the league, per the NFL Network's top 100 players.

PLANNING AHEAD: Many of the Jets' picks highlight Tannenbaum's philosophy of drafting for today, planning for tomorrow. They picked players at positions where the current starter may not be around in 2013. Consider:

Quinton Coples, DE, Round 1 -- Incumbent Mike DeVito is heading into the final year of his contract.

Demario Davis, ILB, Round 3 -- Bart Scott, who will be 32, likely will be a cap casualty in 2013. Rex Ryan already is on record as saying Davis reminds him of a young Scott.

Terrance Ganaway, RB, Round 6 -- Incumbent Shonn Greene, a slighly smaller version of Ganaway, has one year remaining on his contract.

Josh Bush/Antonio Allen, S, Rounds 6 and 7 -- LaRon Landry, the Jets' most noteworthy free-agent acquisition, signed for only one year.

Robert T. Griffin, G, Round 6 -- The current starters, Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, are entering the final year of their contracts.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?: It's hard to imagine how many times Griffin has heard cracks about having the same name as his former Baylor teammate -- Robert Griffin III. Yeah, that guy. At least Robert T. has maintained his sense of humor. He said his agent started calling him RG II.

"I’m going to keep that name and my motto," he said Saturday on a conference call with reporters. "I’m going to keep the names Big Griff and RG II. It's nothing different."

Big Griff (340 pounds) said it was "fun" to have a more famous teammate with the same name.

"He's like a brother," he said. :We have the same name, but didn’t treat each other any differently. It was an every-day thing, but I was the one putting my hand in the dirt and he was the one putting his hand on the ball and throwing the rock. I didn't feel different. On the inside, I felt I had to do a little extra just for him because we have the same name."

DEEP THOUGHTS: Ryan said the Jets have "unusual depth" on the defensive line. At inside linebacker, he said "we're as deep as we've even been there."

On the D-line, they have three returning starters, plus Coples, Kenrick Ellis, Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua. Backing up Scott and Davis Harris at ILB, they have Davis, Josh Mauga and Nick Bellore.

DOUBLE-A: Ryan said he was "shocked" that Allen dropped to the seventh round. One of the reasons, Allen believes, is the position he played at South Carolina -- the "spur" position.

"It's not a traditional safety spot," he said. "I'm not 12 yards deep, covering the post on every play. I'm up on the line of scrimmage, tackling people for a loss."

He's right about that. Over the last two seasons, Allen recorded 20 tackles-for-loss, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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