To all the haters out there, I have to do it. I think I’ve found a way Tim Tebow sneaks into the first round.
Roger Goodell laid down perhaps the most compelling suspension of his short tenure as NFL commissioner Wednesday when he banned Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the first six games of 2010.
The Steelers anticipated the move and signed veteran Byron Leftwich earlier in the week as an insurance policy.
Rumors are now swirling that Roethlisberger may be on the trading block if the right offer comes their way.
I don’t know who’d be willing to trade for the guy, considering he’s an elite level talent, which would warrant giving up a heck of a lot to get him, when he is only eligible for 10 games next season.
So I offer up a solution to the Steelers’ predicament.
What quarterback in this year’s draft is big, with somewhat unorthodox mechanics but an uncanny knack for winning just like Big Ben?
Yes, it is Tebow.
And he comes with a bonus!
Unlike Roethlisberger who, between motorcycle escapades, strip club extravaganzas and sports bar bathroom run-ins, has found his way into trouble much too frequently, Tebow comes with a No Baggage Guaranteed plan.
There’s no need to give the Tebow character lecture here; we all know what he brings to the table besides a strong left arm.
But seriously, ever since last year, I’ve drawn the on-field comparisons between Tebow and Roethlisberger.
Both weigh more than 230 lbs., though Tebow’s build is a bit more defined.
Both make a career by making throws on the run – neither could ever disguise for Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but that’s not what makes them tick.
And lastly – most importantly – no matter how ugly it may look at times, they both win games at an alarming rate.
Tebow’s two national titles in college were a sign of his leadership (he was an integral part of the 2007 title even if he didn’t start, they wouldn’t have won it without him).
Roethlisberger already owns two Super Bowl rings in his career.
I’ve said all along that Tebow belongs with a franchise that plays destructive defense, relies on a power running game and short to mid-level passes. In other words, he belongs in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers own the 18th pick in the draft, which is dangerously high to take Tebow.
If they could somehow trade Roethlisberger and either move down in the first round or get a late first-rounder in return, it would provide the perfect opportunity to take Tebow.
Even if they don’t make a deal involving the suspended star, they can still move around some picks to take Tebow at a more appropriate place in the draft.
They just better be careful, because something tells me some team that covets Tebow is going to freak out that he could go off the board before it’s their turn to take him, and trade up to get him earlier than anticipated.
If Pittsburgh does snatch Tebow up, he could learn quite a bit from the veteran Roethlisberger.
Come to think of it, Roethlisberger could learn a lot about character from Tebow.
Taking the former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida would also send a message from Steelers brass that they truly are serious about a cleaner image than what Roethlisberger has given them in recent months.
The Steelers do have more pressing needs than quarterback, obviously. Leftwich would do a fine job in the first six games of the year; Pittsburgh would likely be no worse than 3-3 with Big Ben returned.
But the dynamic of Roethlisberger and Tebow in Pittsburgh might just be what the Steelers need at the moment.