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2010 NFL Draft: Can Tim Tebow Play Quaterback at The Next Level?

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2010 NFL Draft: Can Tim Tebow Play Quaterback at The Next Level?
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A lot has been said about the Bible-toting, always-smiling lefty from Florida.

And considering his vast popularity and amazing college production, it's astonishing that most of it has been negative.

We get it.

Tim Tebow played in a spread offense under Urban Meyer at Florida. He didn't have a great (or even good) showing at the Senior Bowl, and his mechanics—to put it lightly—need work.

But the question still remains: Is this guy a first rounder? And more importantly, whether he is or isn't, is he a guy who can make it as an NFL quarterback?

You don't need to hear about Tebow's stats, his great accuracy, or his level of play against fierce competition.

Because, naturally, according to anyone and everyone who talks about NCAA football, none of that matters for the next level, right?

That's where everyone is wrong.

We continue to overlook Tebow's strengths merely because of a system he played in, or because he's not the "prototypical" version of what we want an NFL quarterback to be.

But if you can look past his flaws, there's a lot to like.

His leadership and passion for the game is not only unquestioned, but it's also something that cannot be taught. And as far as his toughness and durability being brought into question in the past year, well, that's just a joke.

The guy ran the ball 292 times for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns in a four-year career in the SEC. You can't be weak or soft and do that.

Saying the guy is soft for any reason is, at best, flawed thinking, and it's simply another excuse to not like the guy.

He's built like a linebacker, and runs like a fullback on steroids.

He's got the speed and agility of a natural runner, although he's not quite fast or elusive enough to be an NFL tailback. But even with knowing that, there's still no way these "fullback" and "tight end" conversion arguments hold any weight.

The guy has as strong of an arm as any other quarterback prospects in this draft, save for Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen. He has shown the ability to perform at an elite level, in one way or another, in big games.

But why do scouts dismiss his strong arm and experience as a quarterback, and automatically assume because he is a gifted runner, that he'd be able to learn a new position?

To be a fullback, he'd have to learn how to block at an elite level when he doesn't even have any real experience doing so at an amateur level.

To be a tight end, he'd have to learn to catch (and block, again) at a higher level, without having any true experience in doing that either.

So, why throw a guy into a new position simply because he doesn't fit the mold of what society and some of the NFL scouts deem as "the perfect quarterback"?

He already has the natural tools, experience, and talent to be a quarterback at the next level. Now it's all about refining.

He needs to learn to take snaps under center, read defenses, make "all the throws," and work on his throwing motion.

But throwing away all the talent he already has because he's not perfect to play a different position he wouldn't be perfect for, well, that just doesn't make any sense.

Alex Smith came from an Urban Meyer spread offense. He struggled (for several reasons), and after a few years in the league, he is just now getting his footing on what it takes to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

There's no doubt about it: Tebow needs work. A lot of it.

But there's also little doubt that any true success he'll have at the next level needs to come from playing under center.

That doesn't mean he can't sit and wait for a few years while being used and trained as a fullback, Wild Cat quarterback, or even a receiver/tight end.

True, throwing Tebow into a starting lineup from day one would be an absolute disaster. He would be Ryan Leaf, times 10.

Again, we all can realize that.

But if the right team is willing to just give a guy with unlimited potential some real time to learn the game, to play the way he needs to play, who is to say that he can't succeed?

The worst part?

All of Tebow's doubters and naysayers will be right about him being a bust for the first two to three years of his career. But if he lands with the right team and gets the time to prove his worth, there's a good chance he'll shock the world.

For more feature articles, head over to NFL Soup.

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