Mel Kiper released his 2010 Big Board Friday, and the only real surprise was that Carlos Dunlap was no. 3. (You can click through here, but ESPN Insider subscription required for the full list.)
What is conspicuous in its absence is Tim Tebow is no where to be found. But, really, that is no surprise at all given Tebow and Kiper's exchange last fall.
"You tell me this," Tebow said to Kiper during the radio exchange. "What do you think I need to do to be an NFL quarterback? You tell me that."
Unfortunately, Kiper didn't give Tebow a direct answer to his direct question.
"You're just too good with the ball in your hands not to think, Could he be Frank Wycheck? Could he be Chris Cooley? That's why," Kiper said. "You're too good, doing what you do, Tim, running with the football." ... "You're just too good with the ball in your hands."
To which Tebow replied, "The quarterback has the ball in his hands every play."
Kiper holds the opinion of many NFL analysts, that Tebow is better suited as an HB than a QB, but in the end Kiper is a numbers guy and numbers can paint a very skewed picture because of all the intangibles that can't be "counted". And ultimately there is really only one number that counts on draft day, and that is the one coach or gm, out of 32, that wants Tebow to play for their franchise to make Tebow a first round draft pick. One. And who can really guess these things? Did any one nationally really see Vick going to Philadelphia? No.
Word has it that the Jaguars might be interested in their native son because of his marketability, and that Bellicheck has his eye on Tebow so he can try out the wildcat. But who might be that silent unknown third, stealthly, laying in wait? Who knows, that's why we'll all be tuned in on April 23.
And so what if Tebow isn't a first round draft pick? Will that actually preclude him from being successful in the NFL? It didn't for these guys:
Tom Brady - Round 6
Joe Montana - Round 3
Roger Staubach -Round 10
And what else do these gentlemen have in common?
Multiple Super Bowl wins and MVP of a Super Bowl status.
And what of first round pick Dan Marino? Never won a super bowl. But he is still considered one of the great NFL QBs.
What defines success in the NFL? Playing great or winning championships? Or is it how your peers judge you? pundits? and/or the fans?
Tom Landry said that Staubach was "possibly the best combination of a passer, an athlete and a leader to ever play in the NFL." High praise from America's coach.
Will the same be said of Tebow, but as the best running QB ever? We hope so.
But, more importantly, we also believe that Tebow's "legacy" will be far greater than playing football.