We are still over a week away from Tim Tebow officially unveiling his new mechanics at Florida’s Pro Day on March 17. Tebow is coming into the 2010 NFL Draft as easily the most difficult to place prospect.
On the one hand this is a guy who won two national championships and a Heisman Trophy during an outstanding career at Florida. He has shown all the "intangibles" you could ask for.
As a character guy—it is hard to find a better one.
Despite those overwhelming positives, Tebow is far from the first quarterback listed on the draft charts. The NFL is not a college career achievement award, and the knocks on Tebow’s game have been discussed endlessly since his first full year as a starter in 2007.
His throwing motion is slow and awkward.
His footwork is not that of a typical quarterback.
He looks to run too much, and won’t be able to overpower NFL defenses in the same way.
He is a system quarterback, and won’t be able to adjust to a pro-style offense.
Going into his senior season at Florida, there was talk about helping Tebow develop some drop back skills, as well as perhaps beginning the adjustments to a John Brantley led UF offense.
Winning got in the way, and Florida relied on what they do best to put together another impressive season, sending Tebow off with a BCS Bowl victory.
Recently ESPN released a short video (discussed in this article) previewing Tebow’s improved throwing motion and footwork. Considering Tebow’s well known worth ethic, we should not be surprised by the results.
Rather it seems to indicate this is the first time Tebow has fully focused on working on those aspects of his game. It isn’t that he hasn’t been able to learn—he has not needed to. That isn't to say his running ability won't be beneficial in the NFL, but it won't have the same effect as in college.
Now as the 2010 NFL Draft approaches, the discussion is over who will go first: Bradford or Clausen. The intrigue of Tebow is hardly forgotten, however. ESPN has recently reported that the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks invited Tebow for a closer look.
Buffalo is in need of a quarterback soon. This might not be the best situation for Tebow, but Buffalo could be the team that takes the earliest shot at him. The revolving door at QB has been a constant frustration to Bills fans, and even former Bills great Jim Kelly is calling for the franchise to draft Tebow.
A better situation for Tebow would be heading to the Pacific Northwest.
New head coach Pete Carroll has already proclaimed Matt Hasselbeck is his guy at quarterback. What else do you expect him to say though? That said, Hasselbeck still has a couple of years left behind center.
Just enough to mentor a young QB prospect like Tebow.
The upside to this relationship is great. If Tebow is not snatched in the first round by a team like Buffalo, Seattle could address their immediate concerns (see OFFENSIVE LINE) in the first and possibly second rounds.
This is not the draft to go after a quarterback in the first round if you are Seattle, which makes Tebow look more and more attractive.
The problem with this scenario, other than Tebow being drafted earlier than Seattle feels they can take him, is that you are drafting on potential. Granted, it is seemingly unlimited potential, but there is still the chance that Tebow’s development reaches a peak, and it isn’t enough to be an NFL QB.
This is especially important considering the situation Seattle will be in when it would be time to take over for Hasselbeck. This is Carroll’s first season, and he will be given a little leeway as far as building his own program.
He will be expected to produce, however, and by 2011 or 2012, Seattle will need to see results. Would Tebow be prepared enough to step in at that point and carry the torch?
Seattle has had poor luck with QBs in general, and especially drafting QBs in the first round. The idea of waiting until next season to get a quarterback might prove disastrous for Carroll and the Seahawks' long term plans.
Seattle fans do not want to see a rookie QB taking over for Hasselbeck.
Carroll knows if he can produce some turnaround this year, that Hasselbeck’s retirement in the next few years will not be enough to buy him a poor season. He needs to have a succession plan ready.
The question is: Will Carroll bank his NFL future on the development of Tebow, or go for the safer bet with prospect already battle tested in the pro-style offense?
If there is an athlete worth taking a risk on, it might just be Tebow.