2010 NFL Draft: Should the Pittsburgh Steelers Target Tim Tebow?
No player in college football stirs up such spirited debate, outspoken opinions, and unanswered questions.
The biggest one being:
Can Tebow play quarterback in the NFL?
The NFL scouts don't think so. Nor do most of the draft experts, sports radio personalities, and TV analysts.
Granted, he didn't help his cause during Senior Bowl week. He was inconsistent and uneven in practice and struggled during the game.
That's what happens to quarterbacks brought up in the spread option offense in college. Just ask Alex Smith.
Tebow has played predominantly from the shotgun his entire career. He isn't used to going under center and will need time to adjust. Some make it, like Vince Young showed this season, and some don't, like Smith.
It's too soon to tell how Tebow will adjust to the NFL game. Every quarterback has a learning curve making the jump to the pros. He at least deserves a chance to see what he can do before being dismissed.
One thing I know for sure, if the Steelers have a chance to draft him in the third or fourth round, they should snap him up in a hurry.
Tim Tebow is a winner and a natural born leader. These are attributes that cannot be learned. You either have them or you don't and he has them in spades.
Tebow's will to win is off the charts. He has a fire in his belly to do everything it takes on the football field to succeed.
The guy cries when he loses. Some may think that's immature to act that way.
I think it's great when someone hates to lose so bad they burst into tears. If you're going to play in the game of life, play it all out. Tebow does that and then some. That's the kind of guy you want on your football team.
Besides mindset we need to look at Tebow and how he performed on the field, where it counts.
His college career numbers are staggering.
He completed 67 percent of his passes for over 9,000 yards with 88 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions.
Even more impressive was what Tebow accomplished on the ground.
He ran for 2,947 yards and totaled 57 rushing touchdowns, breaking the SEC mark set by Herschel Walker. That's 145 career touchdowns total—rushing and passing.
Listen. If you can play and perform consistently well in college, you should at least be a decent backup in the NFL.
Height, weight, and forty-yard dash times don't matter—attitude and how you play the game do. Tebow plays to the max every play.
Even more impressive is his 35-6 record as a starter and the fact that Florida won three SEC titles and two National Championships in his four years in Gainesville.
He would be a perfect fit for Pittsburgh.
I know the Steelers have more important needs, like corner and offensive line for instance, but Tebow could be a very dangerous weapon in Bruce Arians' offense.
You could line him up at tight end, fullback, or as an H-back hybrid—he's 6'3" and 240 pounds, so he isn't a small guy. He's a workout warrior who loves to lift weights, stays in shape, and wants to get better.
He could be a dangerous threat out of the wildcat or he could line up at quarterback and just take off running, something he does really well.
Most importantly, Tebow would have a chance to sit back and learn from Ben Roethlisberger, one of the best in the business, with no pressure on himself to be the star of the show.
He gives a team that third quarterback, the versatile all-around guy franchises love to have.
Arians loves to run shotgun. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best from the shotgun. We know Tebow loves the gun, so it's a perfect match.
He's an intelligent kid (he was the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2008) who shouldn't have any problems learning the playbook.
Even as a rookie he could be a positive influence in the Pittsburgh locker room and the kind of player coach Mike Tomlin wants.
James Harrison stated publicly that some guys on the squad were only out for themselves and not playing for the team. Tebow is the ultimate team player. He's a high character individual who makes no excuses and stands up for his teammates.
How could a guy like that be detrimental to your franchise?
With all that being said, Tebow should not be a first-round draft pick. There's just too many question marks right now to invest that kind of money. He'll probably go in the second round, unless his workouts are a complete bust.
If he falls down further and the Steelers have a chance to grab him, they should pull the trigger. It's worth the risk from the third round on.
He thrives on pressure situations and that's a good thing because no quarterback in this draft class will be more scrutinized, with the exception possibly being Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. Tebow's already played in big games in college, so you know he doesn't get rattled.
Many say he's overrated and will be out of the league in four to five years. Some say he'll be a star quarterback in the not-so-distant future.
Only time will tell.
But if I were a gambling man, I wouldn't bet against him.
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