Who knew Isiah Thomas had resurfaced as general manager of an NFL franchise?  Last night, the Broncos flipped second, third and fourth round draft picks to Baltimore in order to acquire the second of their first round choices, a selection they wasted used on Florida QB/Christ-like figure Tim Tebow. Charitably described as “a project”  by some (as opposed, y’know, a guy who can’t throw the ball), Tebow was projected as a 3rd rounder, and while the former Heisman winner is in the words of CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman, “a nice young man” (“every father should want his daughter to marry him”), “the countdown until Josh McDaniels gets his ass canned has officially started.”

Tebow, the least NFL ready of the big names, goes before Jimmy Clausen, the most NFL ready. Clausen is in the middle of a Brady Quinn freefall and could go in the second round to Minnesota on Friday.

The juxtaposition is striking. The current positioning of the two players says a great deal about what the NFL thinks of Clausen. It’s also a statement on how Tebow and his management team pulled a great snow job on the Broncos by highlighting his alleged revamped throwing motion.

It’s easy to understand what happened here. The perception of Tebow as a good guy and seller of tickets and jerseys is opposite that of Clausen, who is seen by the league as a cocky jerk.

It was almost conspiratorial what happened to these two. Teams propped up Tebow because they liked him personally while simultaneously tearing down Clausen because they thought he was arrogant. One NFC scout told me on Thursday night: “Jimmy Clausen’s smirk finally caught up with him.”

Clausen has top 15 talent and Tebow fourth- or fifth-round ability. If you can’t see that, turn in your personnel badge immediately. No more mock drafts for you.

You know it’s a really strange draft when the Raiders have a better draft day than the Broncos.