FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Tim Tebow's versatility could give the New York Jets some flexibility when it's time for them to pick in the NFL draft.
The athletic backup quarterback is expected to have several roles on offense with the Jets after they acquired him from the Denver Broncos last month. While general manager Mike Tannenbaum downplayed the effect Tebow's presence likely would have on who New York selects, it's something the team might keep in mind next week.
"He's our backup quarterback, so that's how we're listing him, and that's how we're going to carry him on our roster," Tannenbaum said Thursday while discussing the Jets' preparations for the draft. "That could be more of a, I'd say, like a subtle tiebreaker, knowing that he has unique skill sets and athleticism. But in terms of how we are looking at our strategy, he's clearly at quarterback for us, and that's how we're listing him."
The Jets have 10 picks in the three-day draft that starts next Thursday, including the 16th overall selection.
Since trading for the popular Tebow last month, the Jets have insisted he will be Mark Sanchez's backup but will be a key part of the offense while playing in Wildcat packages and could see time as a running back/fullback.
Jets left guard Matt Slauson told reporters Monday before being honored at an event in Manhattan that New York's offense is setting up "like we're going to be two separate teams" because of having both Sanchez and Tebow.
"From an offensive standpoint, it's important that we're lining up in one offense, we have one Jets offense," vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales said. "So that being said, you want the best wide receiver available, the best offensive guard available, the best tight end available. We aren't going to specifically draft a guy or not draft a guy because of what that particular player might do -- especially if he's the backup."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press