As Tim Tebow struggles through a week of Senior Bowl practices, it's becoming clearer and clearer that he won't be able to make it as an NFL quarterback. So if it's time to start looking at other options, what are they?
It's been mentioned that he could be moved to fullback, tight end, or H-back. However, I think that Tebow could make a significant contribution to an NFL team as a middle linebacker.
Now before you immediately dismiss the idea, hear me out. As I mentioned, it doesn’t appear that he’ll be able to make a living at quarterback, so he’s going to have to make the change either way. What better way to do it than to go from quarterback of the offense to quarterback of the defense?
Tebow’s experience as a quarterback will help him immensely at the middle linebacker position. As a quarterback, he has experience learning the playbook and having to call plays on the field. Being a quarterback has also given him experience being in control and leading an entire unit, and his work leadership and work ethic would help him gain the respect of his unit rather quickly.
As far as the physical aspect, Tebow comes in to the Senior Bowl at 6'3" and 236 pounds. That puts him about 10 to 15 pounds away from the ideal middle linebacker size. But Tebow has an unrivaled work ethic and would be able to put on that weight without much problem.
People might also say that he wouldn’t be able to tackle or shed blockers, but he never has been one to shy away from contact. He’s already so strong that I think he is just a little bit of coaching away from being able to tackle and shed blockers.
If he could make the decision to switch sooner rather than later, that would definitely help his stock, because he would be able to at least get in proper physical shape to go to camp as a middle linebacker.
So, there are a few teams that might be a good fit to take Tebow as a late-round middle linebacker. The first that comes to mind is San Fransisco. With their 3-4 defense, Tebow could work alongside one of the best inside linebackers in the league in Patrick Willis, and could spend a year or two behind a great veteran in Takeo Spikes while he learns the position.
Not to mention, their coach, Mike Singletary, is one of the best middle linebackers of all time.
Another possibility is the Seattle Seahawks. With Pete Carroll coming in and bringing former USC linebackers coach (and NFL All-Pro) Ken Norton, he would certainly have lots of good minds to help him.
I’m not saying that Tebow is going to come into the draft and replace Alabama’s Rolando McClain or Tebow’s teammate Brandon Spikes, but if he commits to the position switch early enough in this process and then gets a year or two with the right team with the right coaches, he possesses the right intangibles and physical characteristics to become a solid NFL middle linebacker.
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