The Jacksonville Jaguars were in the headlines on Thursday before the clock ever began for the No. 1 overall pick, with reports and rumors of former Florida Gators and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow working out with the team as a tight end hitting the public just hours ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
And following the Jaguars making franchise-altering decisions with quarterback Trevor Lawrence (No. 1 overall) and running back Travis Etienne (No. 25 overall), general manager Trent Baalke confirmed the Tebow rumors, adding even more to the story.
"He did come in for a workout several weeks ago or whatever that was. He worked out as a tight end and that’s the position he’ll be playing," Baalke said on Thursday when asked about Tebow.
"Right now, where it stands, we’re going to get through the draft and our whole focus, quite honestly, has been on the draft. We’ll worry about that when the draft is over.”
Tebow, of course, won a Heisman Trophy under Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer at Florida. Meyer is now the man in charge in Jacksonville and he hasn't been shy to say he values previous relationships when it comes to adding new people to his organization.
The Jaguars' need for a tight end is clear -- veteran tight end Chris Manhertz is a blocking tight end with 12 career receptions. Meanwhile, James O'Shaughnessy is more of a backup tight end than he is a starting pass-catcher.
The Jaguars have eight more picks in the draft to address tight end and potentially put the Tebow experiment to rest. On Friday, they hold the No. 33, No. 45, and No. 65 overall selections. They hold five draft picks on Day 3 as well.
But for now, the Jaguars are left with their current tight end room -- a room Urban Meyer knows his team needs to add to.
"That was a high priority. We have two different style of tight ends, one is a ‘Y,’ which is—on the line, basically an extension of your offensive line, a very good blocker, but also very functional in the pass game," Meyer said on March 19. "We identified the guy, had him at the top of the list and that’s [Chris] Manhertz and we got him. I’ve not met him, he’s coming in today, but I’m—we all are extremely excited about him. He was exactly what we wanted and we got him.
"The next one is the ‘F’ and that’s the primary pass catcher, but also a functional blocker. We have not addressed that. [James] O'Shaughnessy—two years ago, O'Shaughnessy had a very good year, showed a lot of potential. Obviously, he had an ACL injury, he’s been in here training, I’ve gotten to know him, really enjoy being around him. So, we count on him, but we have not finalized that piece of the puzzle yet. But the ‘Y’ part–we all feel extremely strong about Manhertz.”
Tebow was a first-round selection (No. 25 overall) for the Broncos in 2010. 11 years later, with the Jaguars now holding the No. 25 overall pick, it appears he may have at least an outside chance at being added to the Jaguars' roster depending on how the draft plays out.
Tebow last appeared in a regular season NFL game on Dec. 30, 2012, a game in which he played one offensive snap for the New York Jets. He played two years for the Broncos, appearing in 23 games and starting 14. He appeared in 12 games with the Jets and started two. He also had short stints with the Eagles and Patriots but never made the regular season roster with either.
Tebow spent five years in the Mets' minor league program before announcing his retirement on February 17, a month after Meyer had taken the Jaguars' head coaching position.