A souring debate recently placed a rift between myself and many of my fellow San Francisco 49ers fans. They get a little crazy when I mention Tim Tebow. They remind me that he's not Steve Young.
To The Faithful I say this: let's not trash Tim Tebow yet.
Sure he hasn't won a Super Bowl with our beloved 49ers, but he never played in the USFL either. Tebow is Tebow. And he is, however, a tough, gritty south-paw Quarterback. Additionally rare, he is a phenomenal athlete capable of making amazing plays (not to mention putting up fantastic numbers) on the ground as well as through the air.
It's no mystery that he won't be able to do the same things in the NFL as he has done in college; very few are. No more running over line-backers and stiff-arming Defensive tackles. He will likely face this challenge like most obstacles: full force, head-on, and adapt accordingly. But when we think about the recent coming of the Wild Cat offense throughout the NFL, the league just might be changing to fit him too.
Tebow may not be the showtime passer scouts drool over; his spiral is wonky and off-kilter. He does sport something to the extent of a 400+lb Bench-press, however, which should make downfield throwing perfectly possible. Furthermore, a good looking throw may not always be the easiest to catch—think J.T. O' Sullivan vs Shaun Hill.
Tebow can't and won't be Steve Young. So maybe we don't compare him with Steve Young. Instead, we look at other talented QB's such as Kenny Stabler, Jim Zorn, Mark Brunell, Boomer Esiason, or the less-accomplished Vince Young or even the hated Michael Vick. They've had (and may continue to have) good to great careers. More importantly in the world of sports, they were (and some are still) fun to watch.
I further suggest it is improbable that our 49ers will be in position to draft Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy, since both San Francisco and Carolina figure to be strong play-off contenders and should be credited with late first-round picks.
Teams with any QB need at all will have snatched those two "premium" QB's within the top 10. With the stronger draft class next year, Tebow may even be available as far down as the late-second ore even early-third round. That's value.
Tebow is going to be drafted. That is all but certain. And wherever he goes, San Francisco or elsewhere, he's going to play some serious football.