Tuesday, February 2, 2010

9 comments Taking A Look At Tim Tebow In the NFL

Everyone who follows sports knows who Tim Tebow is and they also probably know a lot more about him than they would like to know due to the media's ever-present coverage of him. Today, I have decided since we are going to be talking about him a lot over the next couple of months, since he's a pretty popular guy among journalists, I would take a look at his draft prospects and compare him to other NFL players in his current position coming out of college before the NFL Draft. Tebow is probably one of the most polarizing players in the country and that doesn't stop when it comes to his draft position. He's a guy who may not even have a position in the NFL, but teams are looking to take him in the first round. I am going to look at what Tim Tebow did at Florida, what strengths/weaknesses he brings to an NFL team, what position he should even play in the NFL, how he compares to other quarterbacks who came out of college as sort of hybrid-quarterback athletes, and finally where I think Tebow should be chosen in the NFL Draft based on all of this information.

What he did at Florida

Everyone seems to know what Tim Tebow did at Florida. If you watch any college football you know he led the Florida Gators to one National Championship in 2008 and had a hand in another National Championship as a freshman in 2006. You know announcers have stated "fifteen minutes with Tim Tebow will change your life" and everyone wants their son to grow up to be like Tim Tebow. In all honestly, he seems like a pretty good guy and would be someone that could be a good role model, but all of the love for Tebow is a bit much. I think it may be affecting the draft expert's ability to be neutral and correctly project correctly him in the NFL draft.

These are Tebow's stats at Florida.

Tebow has 88 career passing touchdowns, 57 career rushing touchdowns, 9,285 career passing yards and a career 88:16 touchdown to interception ratio.

His numbers are very impressive. Really there isn't that much more I can write about them because they speak for themselves. So I thought I would compare Tebow with his doppelganger, Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan.

These are LeFevour's statistics at Central Michigan.

LeFevour has 102 career passing touchdowns, 42 career rushing touchdowns, 12,905 passing yards and a career 102:36 touchdown to interception ratio.

These numbers are nearly as impressive and LeFevour had 23 of interceptions during his freshman and sophomore years at Central Michigan, so he improved in that category over the last 2 years. So the question I have is this one:

Why is Dan LeFevour considered a fourth round pick, while Tim Tebow is considered a first round pick? I am not specifically comparing the two or trying to build up LeFevour, just trying to examine what is different about these two quarterbacks that would cause NFL scouts to differ on them so greatly. I don't think LeFevour is in the same class as Tebow, but I also don't believe they are as far apart as they are projected.

Let's compare the two college quarterbacks:

1. LeFevour is 6'3" 238 pounds and Tebow is 6'3" 245 pounds, so they are essentially the same height and weight. Tebow probably has more muscle than LeFevour. I say this just from having seen 1,000 pictures of Tebow and fewer pictures of LeFevour, so I may be wrong, but from outward appearances Tebow looks like the bigger guy.

2. LeFevour is the better pure passer of the two. While Tebow is the better runner of the two.

3. LeFevour played against lesser competition at Central Michigan as compared to the competition Tebow played at Florida. I see this as the big difference in the two players in the minds of NFL scouts. I thought we were sort of past the point of dismissing a player's ability to play in the NFL based solely on the competition that he played in college, but it's pretty clear we are not.

If we are not past this point, then that is fine, so I will submit this to you. Tebow had more "help" on his team in the form of other great players to take the focus off of himself. He had a better offensive line and better receivers and running backs than Dan LeFevour. Both quarterbacks led their team in rushing every single year except for their freshman year, when they were both second. The similarities in these two players is sort of impressive. I would submit the difference in competition is nearly outweighed by the talent disparity between Central Michigan and Florida.

The difference in the two players is in my mind, and what may balance out the "strength of competition" factor, is that Tebow had more help around him than Dan LeFevour. I am not sure many people could name another Central Michigan player other than LeFevour, but Tebow had had NFL players around him his entire career at Florida. The other team's focus was on Tebow, but it couldn't be completely on Tebow or else guys like Percy Harvin, Andre Caldwell, Louis Murphy, and Aaron Hernandez could hurt them as well.

There are those that think Tebow isn't quite the quarterback he has been propped up to be. These people so far have been fewer than those that believe in him. When he was at Florida, Tim Tebow put up some great numbers and is one of the better college football players over the last decade. The question I think many people are missing is whether this translates to the NFL or not. When I compare him side-by-side to LeFevour, who is a projected 3rd-4th round pick, I don't see as many differences that would cause me to understand the gap in their abilities as measured by NFL scouts. Granted, I didn't do an in-depth analysis of the two player's throwing styles and careers, and that wasn't my intention to do so, but I wanted to point out at Florida Tebow was a great quarterback, but he wasn't necessarily without peer in the college ranks.

Strengths of Tebow

1. Leadership.

All you hear is people rave about Tebow's leadership skills and his intangibles. He has great intangibles and is a good overall person. If a team is looking for a hard working kid who is a good influence in the locker room, then Tim Tebow is that guy. The media loves him because he is willing to tell them pretty much anything they want to know about him. He tells them all about his faith, that he is a virgin, and pretty much anything else that is asked of him. Tebow's teammates also enjoy playing with him and I am sure everyone remembers his vow in 2009 that Florida wouldn't lose another game and will use that as an example of good leadership. That is true, Tebow made the statement and Florida didn't lose again. I think there were other elements, such as the strength of the team around Tebow that helped him back up the statement, but the perception is that he pumped his team up with his vow not to lose for the rest of the season. Really the perception is reality.

2. Work ethic

It's pretty obvious from how Tebow takes care of his body and how he conducts himself on the football field that he has a good work ethic. He wants to be a great player and a great person. It seems like he works hard at both. He did develop as a better person in Urban Meyer's system while he was at Florida and he most likely did this because he worked at it. Tebow isn't going to be lazy out on the field or in the film room, so a team drafting him doesn't have to worry about that. I think one of the many reasons NFL scouts feel so positive about him adapting to the NFL is his work ethic.

3. He's a good athlete

It sounds cliche and it is, but Tebow is a fairly good athlete playing quarterback. He can run well when he needs to and he possibly could even play other positions on the football field if it were required. At least from his body type it looks like he can, he only played quarterback at Florida, but a guy like Tebow with his work ethic could probably switch positions and adjust well to the new position. The problem I have is, I don't know what position he could switch to. So while I am putting his athleticism as a strength, I do so merely because of his running ability in college, but I don't know how it could translate to the NFL.

4. Intangibles

Tim Tebow has all the intangibles a team would ever want in a quarterback. He is low maintenance (meaning he doesn't require adult supervision and won't smack a hooker or get in a fight at a strip club), he is a good person and he hasn't shown himself to be the type of person who wouldn't slack off once he has reached the NFL. He does mission trips, he visits prisons, and all the other stuff a team would want a player to do. There is nothing not to like about him personally...other than the fact the media jams their coverage of him down our throats.

Not to go negative, but we have all seen Tebow's strengths, and I don't think they will tell an NFL team exactly what the hell they would be getting when they drafted him. I think his weaknesses speak to more of the questions people have about him.

Weaknesses of Tebow

1. What the hell is he?

Is Tebow a quarterback, a running back, a fullback or a tight end? I will cover this a little bit more in a minute, but this is a big question. I know there are certain "experts" who say it doesn't matter, he should be drafted and then fit into a team. Well, that's bullshit. I think a team needs to know exactly what he is before they draft him. This isn't baseball where you can draft a guy who is a SS/P and then figure out a place for him. If a team drafts a QB in the 1st round to play quarterback then he better be starting fairly soon. If a team drafts him as a tight end in the 1st round, he better have a better skill set than the current set of tight ends on the team or at least guys drafted ahead of him. He's a classic "tweener" in some aspects. He has no experience playing another position other than quarterback, so no one really knows if switching him to another position would even work.

2. That throwing motion

It's brutal. Tebow has a slow release due to a long wind up where he holds the ball too low. It's pretty much the 3 deadly sins of a quarterback's motion. By holding the ball so low when he winds up, Tebow pretty much invites a defender to swat the ball out of his hand and cause a fumble. The long wind-up gives the secondary a longer time to figure out where the ball is going and to get there before the ball does, as well as it gives the defensive line more time to get their hands up. Tebow also has a slow release which is going to cause a lot of tipped passes and I think will cause him to have trouble when it comes time to getting the ball to a secondary receiver. It takes Tebow time to throw the ball and when he has to go away from his primary target is when I think this problem will be most visible.

It's absolutely true Tebow can try to change all of this, but he has been throwing this way for 22 years and I can't help but wonder with a short wind-up if that will take some of the velocity off his passes. Peter King mentioned Philip Rivers and Favre got past their throwing motion problems, but Rivers and Favre were naturally better passers coming out of college and didn't have any other hitches in their throwing motion. Tebow does.

3. Hype

Hype is a bad thing. One member of the media from ESPN said in this week's Sports Illustrated that Tebow was the most marketable player ever to come to the NFL. I think that is ridiculous personally. I would think Peyton Manning would be more marketable since he came from a family of quarterbacks, had good behavior in college and seemed like a guy who would end up being a great quarterback since he was a great quarterback in college. These type of statements are what is going to bring Tebow down a little bit in my mind. Even Manning didn't have as much hype coming out of college as Tebow. Everyone thinks Tebow is marketable now, but what happens if he doesn't play well? Isn't he going to fall just as fast as he rose? I see the hype as a long term bad thing because I think hype goes with unreal expectations. Of course I hate hype.

4. Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer runs a quarterback-friendly system at Florida. It is a great system and is a system that works. His quarterbacks do not take 3, 5, or 7 step drops, they do not take snaps under center, and the offense is designed so well rarely does the quarterback have to throw into traffic. It's a well designed offense for college football. The last quarterback Meyer placed in the NFL was Alex Smith in 2005. The jury is still out on him and whether he can be an NFL quarterback. I don't think a college quarterback not taking snaps from under center is as big of a deal these days as it used to be, but a quarterback has to be able to do it. I question whether Tebow can.

Tebow has the work ethic but it is still a major adjustment from taking snaps out of the shotgun to taking snaps from under center if he wants to play quarterback in the NFL. I don't want to demean or simplify the offensive system Urban Meyer runs, but it is predicated on getting his skill players in space to let them make plays. That's great, but it also knowing this it makes me wonder how comfortable and adept Tebow will be at throwing the ball into tighter spaces and going to his 3rd/4th receiver since he isn't used to doing this as much. At Florida, Tebow didn't always have to throw into close quarters and that is definitely going to change in the NFL.

What position Tebow should play in the NFL

Quarterback:

This is the most obvious position Tebow should play in the NFL. The problem lies in two things. First, there are only 32 players who start in this position so if a team is planning on drafting Tebow in the first round, they must also be prepared to play Tebow fairly early in his career, which I don't think he is ready for. The exception to this is if he is drafted by a team that has a legend at the QB position, then Tebow would be given sufficient time to learn to play the QB position (i.e. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers).

The second problem is as I have said before, Tebow isn't exactly ready to be an NFL quarterback at this point. I don't think he should be drafted by a team that is looking to start him any time soon. If his name was Franklin Harris from the University of Colorado and he wasn't such a high profile guy, I don't think he gets quite as much interest in being a 1st round pick. I like Tebow as a person, but I have watched a lot of Florida football games and he just seems like a bit of a project to me. He played in a quarterback-friendly offense and an offense that was built around his skill set, which isn't his fault, but also doesn't indicate to me his skills will necessarily translate to the NFL. A team choosing Tebow has to be willing to let him wait for a couple of years before he would be able to take the reins of a team.

Fullback:

I personally don't know how Tebow can come into the NFL as a fullback. He hasn't ever played the position to my knowledge and what part of his career at Florida has indicated Tebow would be a good fullback? Yes, he has run the ball well at Florida but he has done it as a quarterback and he has also done it by running over people, which is something he is not going to be able to do as an NFL player to the extent he did in college. The fullback is a dying position in the NFL and for a team to draft a quarterback to play fullback in the NFL in the first 2 rounds is just borderline stupid. There are better fullbacks available in this draft and in the NFL to waste a pick on a converted fullback who has no experience in the position is sort of stupid. We also have no idea if Tebow is a good blocker, which is pretty important for a fullback.

Tight end:

There has been talk that Tebow could play tight end in the NFL. The biggest problem I can think of here is that he really isn't that athletic. I know it sounds like heresay, but while Tebow put up great numbers at Florida and he did run the ball well, there is nothing I have ever seen at Florida which would make me think if he played tight end in the NFL he would be anymore than a 2nd tight end-fullback hybrid. Again, you don't choose these type of players in the first couple of rounds in the NFL Draft unless that player has shown an ability to do this job in college. Tebow has the size to be an NFL tight end, but the most successful tight ends at this point in the NFL are guys who are basically bigger wide receivers. Tebow hasn't shown he can block or catch a football when it is thrown to him. I don't see him as a tight end in the NFL, it would be a conversion for him, and teams shouldn't really draft tight ends that are projects in the first couple of rounds of the NFL Draft.

Hybrid:

The biggest thing I have heard is that Tim Tebow is "a football player" who just needs to be given a variety of roles and see which ones he fits into. There are positive aspects of this view, but to me this also doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense. If a team gets creative with him they could run the Wildcat, play him at tight end on certain plays, fullback on certain plays, and possibly even run some trick plays with him as a quarterback. As we will see, this has been done by other NFL players like Brad Smith and Kordell Stewart with mixed success. This is a strong NFL draft in my mind and it's fun to draft guys who are "football players" and see what you can do with them, but there are going to be guys like this available later in the NFL Draft and guys who may be able to do this job better than Tebow could.

Comparisons to other guys in the NFL who played QB in college but did not have obvious position coming into the NFL

I am going to look at Tebow compared to five guys who played quarterback in college and didn't necessarily have a position coming into the NFL. I will look at Kordell Stewart, Antwaan Randle El, Brad Smith, Matt Jones, and Julian Edelman. (If there is another player I may have forgotten, I didn't mean to, but I tried to get a good sub-set of players who were in different kinds of situations coming out of college into the NFL after playing QB in college)

Kordell Stewart:

He's the original "Slash" and a guy who was drafted to play wide receiver and quarterback for the Steelers. Stewart was 6'1" and 218 pounds and had a decent career as a quarterback and wide receiver. I don't see a huge comparison between he and Tebow, though they are similar in that both quarterbacks weren't the best passers in the world in college technique wise, but still put up great numbers in college. Kordell Stewart was more capable of making the switch to wide receiver or running back based simply on his body size and type than Tebow is going to be able to. Tebow is a big guy but Stewart was more of an overall athlete than Tebow is and is also more versatile. Stewart was a guy who conceivably play quarterback in the NFL, but he wasn't the best passing guy because his throwing motion wasn't the best and his overall strengths were to be more versatile with what the team wanted to do with him. I don't see Tebow as being in a similar situation as Stewart was out of college. Stewart was a 2nd round pick.

Antwaan Randle El

Randle El was never big enough at 5'10" and 192 pounds to play quarterback in the NFL, so he is not a very good comparison to Tebow in the pros either. There was never a great attempt to get him to play quarterback for the Steelers due to this and he was always going to be a wide receiver in the pros. Again, he had athletic ability as a kick returner that Tebow doesn't have at all. Randle El easily made the switch to a wide receiver in the pros, after being an athlete that played quarterback at Indiana University. There really isn't a comparison between Tebow's situation and Randle El's, because Randle El was never seriously considered for the QB position in the NFL. Randle El was a 2nd round pick.

Brad Smith

This is one of the better comparisons to Tebow. At Missouri, Brad Smith was a quarterback who wasn't nearly as accurate as Tebow was at Florida, but was a runner and good athlete. The Jets drafted Smith with the intentions of having him compete at the quarterback position because he was 6'2" and had shown the ability to throw the ball well at Missouri. He is the 1st player to ever pass for 8,000 yards and run for 4,000 yards in college, so it isn't like he wasn't good enough on paper to play in the NFL at the quarterback position. I see similarities between he and Tebow with what both of them accomplished in their college careers in regards to running and passing. Tebow is the better quarterback, but he also played in a more quarterback friendly system at Florida than what Smith played in at Missouri.

As time went on with the Jets, Smith became more of a versatile player who returned kicks, played wide receiver, and played quarterback sparingly, if rarely (He has four career passing attempts). Again, Smith was more athletic than Tebow so he was used in a variety of roles with the Jets that Tebow probably will not be able to convert to. Smith is a better comparison based on his college stats than Stewart and Randle El, but Tebow probably can't do many of the things Smith has done in the NFL. Smith was a 4th round draft pick.

Julian Edelman

There is really no comparison between Tebow and Edelman. I have included Edelman because he was a college quarterback who converted to a different position in the NFL, slot receiver. Edelman wasn't a bad college quarterback but he wasn't the best thrower of the football and was mostly a threat to run which helped out his passing. What I thought was interesting is that Edelman is playing a slot type receiver position with the Patriots and he had one catch his entire career at Kent State. So obviously the Patriots saw something in him to where he could play slot. That's the kind of creativity a team that chooses Tebow and wants him to switch positions will have to show. Edelman is 3 inches shorter and about 40 pounds lighter than Tebow, who would not be a good slot receiver at all in the NFL. So as a converted slot receiver from the quarterback position, Edelman was drafted in the 7th round.

Matt Jones

Another good comparison for Tim Tebow is Matt Jones, who played quarterback for Arkansas in college. Jones stood 6'6" and weighed 242 pounds coming out of college and is actually second to Tim Tebow in rushing yards in SEC history. Jones is a better comparison to Tebow than Brad Smith is because Jones was a three starter as the quarterback and was actually initially projected be a quarterback in the NFL. The Jaguars drafted him and turned him into a receiver and he had a decent NFL career if it wasn't for some drug problems he had. Jones from his body type could have made a good receiver or tight end in the NFL because he had great speed (he ran between a 4.37 and 4.40 40-yard dash) and also was a good leaper. Obviously the combine hasn't happened yet, but Tebow is not projected to jump well or be very fast, so I don't think a switch to wide receiver would ever work for Tebow and if he is going to any other position, based on Jones' success at wide receiver, it may end up being tight end...though I don't know how well Tebow would do at that position either in the NFL. Matt Jones was a 1st round draft pick.

Where Tebow should be drafted

There are four general schools of thought when it comes to where and when Tim Tebow should be drafted.

1. Draft Tim Tebow in the 1st/early 2nd round. He was a great college quarterback and leader and can do the exact same thing in the NFL if given the opportunity.

2. Draft Tebow to play the tight end/fullback position in the 1st/2nd round. He is big enough and works hard enough to learn how to play the position well and then use him in other scenarios as the need develops.

3. Draft Tim Tebow as early as you can get him because he is an athlete and football player and a position for him can be found. You just need a guy like him with his intangibles on your team somewhere somehow.

4. Tim Tebow should be drafted in the late 2nd round at the earliest and more likely in the 3rd round. He played in a quarterback friendly system at Florida and is going to need some time to develop into a great quarterback.

The first school of thought is probably the most popular. Tebow was a great college quarterback and he does seem to have good intangibles. The problem with this school of thought is that in my mind Tebow isn't ready to be a franchise quarterback at this time. His teammates will love his intangibles and follow him as long as he makes them successful, which I am not sure he can do his first couple of years in the NFL. I have already discussed his throwing motion that is a defensive coordinator's dream and a quarterback coach's nightmare. I don't believe a college quarterback who needs to have his throwing motion overhauled and needs to learn how to take snaps from under center is a guy who is a first round draft pick. Those type of guys are more projects or guys who aren't considered sure-things enough to be drafted later. I think Tebow's good personality and media popularity is causing some to overlook some of his flaws.

The second school of thought is that Tim Tebow can be drafted early in the draft and then if he doesn't work out at quarterback he can always play tight end. This is easier said than done. I know guys like Antonio Gates just came from playing basketball to the Pro Bowl as a tight end, but he was an athletic guy. I don't know if Tebow possesses that athleticism necessary to play tight end in today's NFL. Sure, him having a head of steam in the open field could lead to him being successful, but I until I see it at the Combine, I won't be sure he has the foot speed necessary to outrun NFL linebackers or get open as a tight end.

What makes this even more difficult is that from the 5 guys I have compared Tebow to earlier, none of them made the conversion to tight end because it wasn't feasible for them. Matt Jones would be the closest guy who could have done it. To go from the quarterback of an NFL team who doesn't get hit as often and doesn't go searching for contact (yes, I know Tebow looks for contact but that's a good way to get a concussion in the NFL), to the tight end of a team who blocks for the running back and is responsible for being physical at the line of scrimmage to get open seems like a big leap for a quarterback. Tebow is a bigger quarterback, but I have a hard time seeing him convert to tight end. If there was another position he could play in the NFL, that would be it, but he has no experience at it. Is it really worth drafting Tebow in the 1st/2nd round to convert him to tight end in the hopes he may eventually become a good tight end and could throw the ball some too? Why not draft a guy who is already a tight end? You don't spend high draft picks on project tight ends.

The third school of thought is that Tim Tebow is a football player and as long as someone drafts him and puts him on the field, he is going to make plays. As you could probably tell from reading what I have written here, I hate this school of thought. You can't just draft a guy and hope to God he plays a position well. He's too slow for a wide receiver, possibly too tall for a fullback, has no experience at the tight end position, and has some mechanical flaws in his delivery as a quarterback. Yeah, he is a nice guy and a good Christian person. His teammates love him and they love how he always works hard and fights for them.

He is a big guy who isn't afraid of running over defenders and being aggressive, but he also has one concussion in his history in college so his searching for contact while also being a quarterback won't seem to fly well in the NFL. I just generally dislike the "put this guy on the team and see what he can do" principle for Tebow. He's not an excellent overall athlete who can play multiple positions, he is a college quarterback who has great intangibles, but no experience other than being a highly decorated college quarterback. This doesn't always translate well to playing a new position in the NFL, even if a player is incredibly athletic. Ask Eric Crouch.

The fourth school of thought is where my opinion is located. The problem is that there are many other teams who will take Tebow before he can fall as far as the 3rd round, so a team following my school of thought won't probably ever have a chance happen. I think if Tim Tebow is taken in the 3rd round by a team that is willing to work with him for 2 years to improve his decision making, mechanics, and reading of defenses he could potentially be a good NFL quarterback. As a 1st round pick, unless he is behind another great QB, he won't get this chance. 1st round quarterbacks need to play fairly soon in most instances. Hypothetically, if Tebow were to be drafted in the 3rd round by the Arizona Cardinals, sit the bench for a few years and learn how to be an NFL quarterback, I would feel more comfortable at his chances of being a good NFL quarterback.

Tebow wasn't a terrible NFL quarterback and the media is going to love him no matter where he goes, but I think any team that believes he can come in and be an NFL quarterback or switch positions is mistaken. Throwing in how QB friendly Urban Meyer's system is, the mechanical flaws Tebow has and there are going to be great expectations for him could lead to a big disappointment for some team if they draft Tebow too high in the NFL Draft.

9 comments:

KBilly said...

I think Peyton Manning was as hyped, if not more hyped than Tebow coming out of college. He was a two year Heisman finalist who would have been the #1 overall pick had he come out as a Jr (and if he wanted to play for Parcells on the Jets).

Tebow is an enigma, but he isn't hyped to the point where he's expected to be in the hall of fame like Peyton was coming out of UT.

KBilly said...

And you seem to miss the most obvious NFL player comparison: Alex Smith.

Urban Meyer has a piss-poor track record in developing NFL QBs and if you look at his other students (Smith and Chris Leak), I can't see why any NFL team would touch Tebow for any position, let alone QB.

It isn't like Florida has EVER produced a quality NFL QB.

Martin said...

Tebow throws a football like a baseball pitcher. That reason alone has him below Dan L. I think the best QB comparison to Tebow is actually a QB who never runs, Byron Leftwich. We've never seen Tebow try and play real QB against a tough, fast defense, much like Young out of Texas. Being under center and having to make more then one read is going to be a step Tebow will work hard at overcoming, but ya just never know till we see it happen.

The Casey said...

I think the best fits for Tebow right now would be Seattle, St. Louis, or Philly. They all have established (more or less) QBs on the downside of their careers and can afford to give him a year or two to rebuild his mechanics, which is what I think would be necessary for him to succeed. I don't really see him moving to another position. The other QBs you listed were all better athletes than Tebow, even Jones, who played basketball at Arkansas for a couple of years.

Also, I think 4th round is too low for Dan L. Looking at the mock draft you linked to, there were quite a few pciks that seemed to me to fail the eyeball test.

ivn said...

Wow, nice work on this post.

One thing I think helps Tebow is that he's coming into the league at the height of the Wildcat. Miami picked up Pat White early in the 2nd round and I don't think Tebow is any better or worse than White. Who's to say a team that plans on using the Wildcat won't use a 1st day pick on him?

Also this seems to be a pretty weak draft for QBs. Clausen looks like the closest thing to a "sure thing." Bradford is considered a top prospect and every report I've read makes him sound like a righthanded Cade McNown. Even in a weak QB class teams fall prey to conventional wisdom and draft em too early (see: Smith, Alex), another thing in Tebows favor in terms of draft spot.

Re: Tebow in Seattle, the Hawks already have Seneca Wallace, they don't need 2 athletic QBs who can't pass.

To make a cross-sport comparison Tebow reminds me of Matean Cleeves, the fiery leader of a really good MSU team who flopped because he was kinda small and couldn't hit a jumper to save his life.

Bengoodfella said...

Kbilly, Manning was hyped coming out of college but there was also some reasoning based on his performance at UT for that hype. I don't know if that's the case with Tebow.

Good call on the Alex Smith comparison. Meyer had him play in his system and he still hasn't developed into an NFL quarterback, not to mention Florida has had some failures as well. I don't think it adds up well for Tebow's immediate success in the NFL. '

Martin, I found it interesting Tebow was so similar to Dan LeFevour. Their numbers were just so similar, but they had such a difference in projected value in the NFL. Leftwich is a good comparison (I think we talked about this before, I am getting deja vu) because of his motion and he never fixed it correctly in the NFL.

Casey, I think St. Louis is going to aim higher and go for a Bradford/Clausen type guy. I could be wrong. I completely agree with you on the fact he isn't going to be able to play another position because he isn't that athletic. He has a fullback body but can play quarterback, so that doesn't translate well to other areas of the football field.

I actually linked that mock draft because I had seen others which had LeFevour in the 4th round. WalterFootball.com is my draft bible and I actually forgot to look at it. They have him at 4th/5th round (http://www.walterfootball.com/draft2010QB.php). There were other mock drafts that have him higher but I was surprised at how far he was going to fall next to Tebow.

Thanks Ivn, when I get more time I like to do a little research and do more than mock sportswriters. I don't claim to be a good column writer, but it doesn't stop me sometimes.

I would take Tebow over White, but I am also not confident in the long term success of the Wildcat. Of course it just takes one team to disagree with me. I actually don't like Clausen as much as many other people seem to do, but I actually like Bradford. Obviously there are some red flags, but overall I like him the best among the QBs.

I have no doubt Tebow will go in the 1st/early 2nd round, I just don't know if it is worth it for a team. Tebow has great leadership and he is like Cleaves in that fashion, but I can see him having struggles in transitioning to the pro game like Cleaves did in the NFL.

Andy said...

Your list of college QB's that switched to a new position is lacking Julian Edelman's predecessor at Kent State: Joshua Cribbs.

Other than that, spot on analysis.

Bengoodfella said...

Thanks Andy. I did forget about Cribbs completely. I had thought about comparing Tebow to other college quarterbacks but I felt like it was getting a bit long. I did not have Cribbs in my list of quarterbacks to talk about in my head, so I would have missed him regardless.

KentAllard said...

If I were a GM, I probably wouldn't look at drafting someone I intended to teach a new position any higher than the fourth round, so Tebow would be drafted based on his potential as a QB alone if taken higher, and i wouldn't do it.

One other thing: Florida hired a coach to work with Tebow on changing his throwing motion after the 2008 season (who is still working with him) and it hasn't helped yet.

Is Matt Jones completely out of the league for good? Drug problems aside, I always kind of liked him, with that goofy long-legged stride of his that didn't look fast until you saw the cornerbacks chasing him.