The League

PreDraft

Tebow: Lots of questions, coverage

At this point more than ever in the history of scouting football players is there more media coverage tied to the NFL Draft. With that said, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is among the greatest players to ever play college football, and as a result, is one of the most-highly decorated quarterbacks in both the history books as well as in the media. The swarms of fans in Mobile, Alabama this week are the largest that I've seen since I started coming here in 2008. The evaluation of Tim Tebow as a player is one that will be among the hardest that I've ever had, if not the hardest. A spread/option quarterback who is trying to become a starting quarterback in the NFL despite having a slow release, lacks elite arm strength, and his accuracy is inconsistent; add in messy footwork and a questionable ability to go through his progressions and reads, and we've got one of the most highly-questionable and highly-covered players in history.

In Day Two of practice, this was how I described Tebow's performance: "Tebow's footwork has gotten better, which is good to see. He's quicker in the pocket and can get deeper in his drop back than he ever did at Florida. His throwing motion hasn't changed much, if at all, and is still extremely slow and easy to predict when he is going to throw the ball. His accuracy was inconsistent today and his arm strength was decent. As a whole, he looked better than what I had expected, although I went in with low expectations because I know that he's a project. Working with Miami may be the best fit for Tebow of any other team in the NFL. They've already designed a "quarterback power" play in which the quarterback follows two lead blockers up the middle. This play will work for Tebow, Jarrett Brown, or Zac Robinson, but Tebow was the one that ran it in practice. As a whole, it's going to be a long process for Tebow to develop into a better quarterback. I'm slowly coming around to the idea that he could be a starter in the NFL, however it wouldn't happen for at least two years. This is just one step in the process of developing Tebow into an NFL quarterback."

It was said by one scout that it takes a quarterback at least 5,000 repetitions to fully embrace the change of mechanics in his throwing motion. Tebow is nowhere close to that 5,000. It's a process, one that will be long; however if he is patient, listens, and does what he is told by the coaches, then he will have a chance to succeed in the NFL. For a player who is craving to play quarterback in the NFL, there is no reason to see him as anything more than that as of now. If he fails at quarterback, then as an executive of the team that drafted him, you would explore where else you can use him. The team that drafts him must make up their mind ahead of time what position they want to play Tebow at; waiting around and not making up their mind will further stunt the development of Tebow and will continue to lower his chances of having success. It takes development to become an NFL quarterback; it's a long road, and Tebow just got started. It's way too early to say how well he will do in the NFL, and most teams won't be able to fully evaluate how well he will do in the pros, because his development will continue after he is drafted, when only one team is in control of him.
The coverage of Tim Tebow's journey to the NFL is one that many will remember for quite awhile. I don't think we've ever seen quite as unique of a situation as this one is. It's certainly going to be a fun ride up to late-April.

By Shawn Zobel  |  January 27, 2010; 11:25 AM ET  | Category:  Draft Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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All I have to say is this. Tebow is coachable, he is an amazing competitor, and has more heart than alot of your quarterbacks out there and he is a proven winner. He listens. He will surprise a lot of people when he hits the NFL and in a time when there is a shortage of morals and discipline in professional sports, he is one that can be looked up to by our children. The NFL and the team that get Tim will benefit by him being there.

Posted by: toddasanders | January 31, 2010 12:58 PM

Tebow has the throwing mechanics of a softball pitcher, he makes Philip Rivers look like Joe Montana. Tebow pulls the ball down way to low and has such a long arm motion and he will need to refine both a lot to make it at the next level. If he doesn't I expect he will get stripped or blocked by the defensive lineman. Also, he needs to realize that he can't bootleg out of the pocket and expect to get away from a defensive end like he could in college, they are just too quick in the NFL. Despite all that, I bet he gets taken in the third round by a team with an established QB, maybe the Panthers or someone similar, with plans to be patient and groom him to be a QB in a couple years.

Posted by: ozpunk | January 30, 2010 3:16 PM

It's becoming apparent that the NFL elitists are concerned that the greatest college quarterback of all time will come into the NFL and instantly dominate, thereby decreasing the quality status of the "next level".

Posted by: jmcdon7230 | January 28, 2010 8:00 AM

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