2010 NFL Draft: Tim Tebow's in Good Company as a Risky Pick
All I have heard in the past few weeks is how Florida quarterback Tim Tebow lacks the skills to be successful in the NFL as a signal caller.
His delivery is too slow and too long. He is not that accurate. He is this and he is that.
How soon we forget about the many first-round, seemingly can't-miss picks like Tim Couch and Jeff George who went on to have remarkably unremarkable NFL careers.
Consider these other players who were thought to not do well in the NFL.
Those of us who follow football (especially Dallas Cowboy, Cincinnati Bengal, and Denver Bronco fans) are acutely aware of Joe Montana leading the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories.
How many remember that Montana was a third-round draft pick by the Niners in 1979?
Scouts back then were not that impressed with Montana, and considering what I saw of him in the NFL, I imagine there were many questions about his arm strength and mobility.
No, Montana did not have a John Elway cannon for an arm or Donovan McNabb's ability to dance and buy time.
What he did have, was the ability to read and tear apart defenses. He also had a knack for throwing the ball away and saving yards when he had an extra second before being sacked.
Emmitt Smith wasn't drafted until the 17th pick of the first round of the 1990 NFL draft.
Teams and scouts alike were concerned by his size (5'9"), lack of speed, and how he always carried the ball in his left hand. Surely such a guy would get crushed by 300-pound defensive linemen and linebackers.
Skip Bayless, who used to cover the Dallas Cowboys, reported in a column that about half of the Cowboys' scouts didn't want to draft Smith, while one scout believed it would be a huge mistake if Dallas didn't.
The scout's reasons? Smith broke every high school rushing record in Florida, could catch passes, block, and make plays, and never got caught from behind.
Dallas drafted Emmitt Smith, and the too-small, too-slow running back is now the NFL's all-time leading rusher.
At six feet tall (some say closer to 5'11"), Drew Brees was thought to be too short to quarterback in the NFL. He was drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft and was the second quarterback taken.
Scouts were concerned about Brees' perceived lack of arm strength and that he thrived in a Purdue system designed for him.
During the end of his career with his first NFL team, the San Diego Chargers, Brees suffered a devastating rotator cuff injury that, ordinarily, means the beginning of the end of a quarterback's career.
But he indeed rebounded and used his leadership and ability to tear apart defenses to lead New Orleans to its first ever Super Bowl victory.
After a career at Michigan with an intense competition at quarterback, Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round (199th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft.
This means that each NFL team had several opportunities to draft him, and they all passed.
When Brady began, he was far down on the New England Patriots' depth chart. Brady went on to eventually lead the Pats to three Super Bowl victories.