Heismans and hoopla accompanied Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow during their college careers. Now, the quarterbacks share something else heading into the NFL: first-round status in the draft.
For Bradford, it was a matter of whether he would go at the top of the first prime-time draft Thursday night. He did, to the St. Louis Rams.
For Tebow, it was a question of how deep in the proceedings his name would be called, with many predicting it would not happen until the second round. The Denver Broncos ended the intrigue at No. 25 after trading with Baltimore to get that spot.
Celebration, drama and a touch of mystery at Radio City Music Hall: The Rockettes would have loved this show.
“I want to be a great quarterback,” said Tebow, who helped Florida win two national championships, earning the 2007 Heisman. “For the next few years, my mindset is going to be to repay (Denver coach Josh McDaniels) for what he did for me, believing in me. Just like it was when I was at Florida. My biggest joy was doing things for Coach (Urban) Meyer, winning championships, being able to help him.”
At least Tebow goes to a team with some talent around him. Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner who missed all but three games in 2009 after right shoulder surgery, is saddled with the Rams, who scored 175 points on the way to a 1-15 record last year.
He’s not complaining.
“You have no idea how excited I am just to have the opportunity to come to St. Louis and play my NFL career there,” Bradford said. “It’s just a blessing and I can’t wait to get there and get to work.”
While Tebow figures to serve an apprenticeship in Denver as he adapts to a pro-style offense, Bradford almost certainly will start for the Rams. Their most accomplished quarterback is A.J. Feeley(notes).