The Great Debate: Can Tebow Succeed In The NFL ?

James MoseleyCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 5:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators reacts after he threw an interception in the redzone in the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome on December 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For this article, I decided to step out of my normal literary stomping grounds and talk about an issue that has started more conversations than the weekly scandals at Tennessee. Tim Tebow is a phenomenal athlete. He has the heart of ten men and almost the strength. Throughout his career at the University of Florida he has broken records left and right. And while he has grown into a legend in college football, he has one more feat to accomplish in his athletic journey. 

The NFL.

Standing at 6'3" 245 lbs, Tebow has an NFL stature and he certainly has the ability to compete in the NFL. 

However, there are skeptics who believe that Tebow lacks certain tangibles that playing quarterback at the NFL level requires. 

Yes, I am one of those skeptics.

And I feel like I have valid points and I, like always am more than happy to share them with you. 

Going back to 2006, when Tebow shared time under center with Chris Leak, Tim went 22 of 33 for 358 yards and 5 touchdowns. That being said he was sharing time and did not have ample opportunity to put up big numbers, although he ended 2006 with a quarterback rating of 201.73. 

The year 2007 would prove to be Tebow's statistical pinnacle year going 234 of 350 for 3,286 yards 32 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. His quarterback rating dropped to 172.47. Now the pulse of my opinion is based on what you will find from 2007 to the present. If you check Tim Tebow's stats you will see a steady decline in performance.In 2008, Tebow was 192 of 298 for 2,746 yards 30 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. His quarterback rating takes yet another hit, ending the season at 172.37. This year Tebow's stats have dropped yet again, 182 of 279 for 2,413 yards 18 touchdowns and 5 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 155.59. 

And one statistic jumps off the page at me. In 2006 Tebow was not sacked in his 33 attempts. In 2007 he was only sacked 13 times, 15 times in 2008 but here's the kicker. Tebow has been sacked a career high 27 times in 2009. Everybody wants to point out how Tebow is a dominant runner, and that he has run over guys that are playing in the NFL. If you are a Florida Gator fan or a Tim Tebow fan you won't like what I'm going to say next. Tim Tebow will not have success at the quarterback position in the NFL for these reasons. 

Tebow has not shown that he can consistently throw the ball accurately under pressure. Alabama put pressure on Tebow all game long and shutdown Florida's ability to run the ball effectively, which in turn put Tebow in the position to win the game with his arm. 

We all know how that worked out. 

Secondly, Tebow has the wrong mindset for an NFL quarterback. In my opinion Tebow would have to change his mentality all together. What I mean by that is Tebow has a ferocious will to win regardless of stats, and wants the ball when the game is on the line. And any NFL General Manager will tell you that is exactly what they want in a quarterback. And rightfully so. 

However, everybody knows that Tebow loves to run the ball if he doesn't have an open receiver. And that has worked well for him in college. In the NFL Tebow won't be able to pull the ball down and scamper for 20 yards. In the NFL that will get Mr. Tebow hurt. 

From my years playing football there is one thing defenders hate more than a quarterback who can sit back and pick the defense apart, and that is a quarterback who thinks he will win the game by running the ball. 

Now don't get me wrong I'm not trying to sit here and take shots at Tim Tebow's flaws or say that he will have absolutely no shot of playing in the NFL. That's not the case at all. I believe that Tebow will be drafted in the first round and a team will give him a chance to prove himself.

I honestly think that if that team allows Tebow to stand on the sideline, hold the clip board and learn from a seasoned veteran, work on his mechanics and spend time in the film room, then he will have a much better chance at success as opposed to throwing him straight into a game.

With Tebow's will to win, his character and ability he will have success without a shadow of a doubt. But I feel that Tebow will need to relive his 2006 season and stand on the sidelines for a season or two to be a good NFL quarterback.