How productive will Tebow be?
By: Eli Grabanski
When Tebow signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, sports media went crazy, and for good reason. He has not played for an NFL team since 2012. He’s slated to be 34 years old going into the 2021 NFL season. And he’s going to be making the switch from quarterback to tight end! Based on all this information, it’s a stretch that he even makes the Jaguars’ final roster.
But what if Tebow did make the roster? What would his ceiling look like?
This article will dive into what kind of stat line we could realistically see from Tim Tebow if he manages to make the team and has a role in the Jaguars offense in 2021.
Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
The Jacksonville Jaguars have some depth at quarterback with Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew. They have depth at running back with James Robinson, Travis Etienne, and Carlos Hyde. They have depth at wide receiver with D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, and Collin Johnson. But at the tight end position? Not so much. Right now on the Jaguars roster, they have Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, Luke Farrell, and Tim Tebow at the tight end position which is less than inspiring. The lack of an established quality tight end option will improve Tebow’s chances of making the final roster and challenge for some play-time here and there.
The Urban Meyer Factor
If Urban Meyer weren’t the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tim Tebow would not be in the NFL. But Urban Meyer had success with Tebow at the college level over a decade ago and believed that Tebow could be useful to the Jaguars offense in 2021, so he decided to give him a chance.
|Tim Tebow College Statistics|
|Year||Games||Completions||Pass Attempts||Completion %||Passing Yards||Passing TDs||Interceptions||Carries||Rushing Yards||YPC||Rushing TDs|
We can’t expect anything close to the kind of production he put up in college at the NFL level, playing a new position, over a decade later. But looking at these college statistics, we can see that Tebow was utilized in a couple of ways during his time at Florida – mainly through the air with his passing and on the ground with his rushing ability. This versatility makes it seem likely that the tight end position will be just one of the places that Tim Tebow lines up…especially considering that Urban Meyer’s 219 game career as a college football head coach, his tight end room averaged just 2.13 receptions for 25.61 receiving yards and 0.26 receiving touchdowns per game and he has been well-known for using players all over the field – like Trey Burton, Percy Harvin, Jordan Reed, and Curtis Samuel. Meyer and the Jaguars may list Tebow as a tight end officially, but he will likely deploy Tebow in a Taysom Hill-like fashion if Tebow makes the final roster.
The Darrell Bevell Factor
The Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator will be Darrell Bevell during the 2021 season. Bevell has taken a more traditional approach in utilizing his players and probably won’t be the one pushing for Tebow to play.
Take a look at the graph above. In just three seasons of Darrell Bevell’s 14-year career, he’s provided his officially listed wide receivers and tight ends with more than one carry per game. If Urban Meyer takes a more hands-off approach to the offense and leaves Darrell Bevell in charge, Bevell probably won’t give much rushing work to Tebow which would limit his overall upside as a player. The good news is that if Bevell believes that Tebow can successfully play the traditional tight end position, there is a little bit of receiving upside given Bevell sticks to his utilization of the position over the last five years.
Tim Tebow may be listed as a tight end with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but given Urban Meyer’s love of ‘gadget’ players, it’s more likely that he is utilized a poor man’s Taysom Hill for the team. For reference, in 2019 when Taysom Hill was a gadget player the full season, he put up a stat line of 27 carries, 156 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 19 receptions (on 22 targets), 234 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns. Based on this, the absolute ceiling of Tim Tebow should be somewhere around…
|Tim Tebow Jacksonville Jaguars Absolute Ceiling Projection|
|Games||Receptions||Targets||Receiving Yards||Receiving TDs||Carries||Rushing Yards||Rushing TDs||Completions||Pass Attempts||Passing Yards||Passing Touchdowns|