Tim Tebow: Why Not First Pick in the Draft?

Bryan LehrmanContributor IApril 22, 2010

The time has come.

The draft is finally here and Tim Tebow will officially be assigned to an NFL team. For months, it has been the ultimate talk of the draft. Good or bad, there was never a segment on ESPN or a debate on NFL Network where someone didnt utter Tim Tebows name.

But why is he still being criticized so harshly? I know, the mechanics, no under-center experience, and the footwork. But is there really anything else you can say about Tebow? Accuracy? He is actually one of the most accurate passers in the country since taking the helm in 2006 at Florida.

In three seasons at UF, Tebow posted completion ratings of 66.9, 64.4, and 67.8. Sure, you can say all you want about the spread-offense and how it doesn't translate. But did the ball get to where it had to be? Yes. Check the 4th quarter of the 2008 SEC Championship. I don't understand how you can be considered that inaccurate of a passer while continuously getting the ball where it had to go .

In terms of competition, Tebow played against the hardest of opponents, no question, in the SEC. Not to mention he also beat out NFL players/prospects Jamarcus Russell (LSU), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), and Matt Stafford (Georgia).

Production? Again, since Tebow ran the spread-offense, his stats are seen as just "blown up". Oh, okay that's the word. Too bad most of the other quarterbacks in the country didn't get numbers like that or championships.

Tebow was also the first sophmore to win the Heisman in 2007, throwing for 3,286 yards and 32 touchdowns to go with only six interceptions. He also rushed for 895 yards and 23 touchdowns. That is production. That is what he was asked to do and he did it.

Now the thing that makes Tebow different than everyone else and apparently, the only thing "going for him"; intangibles . Thousands of players have gone through the entire draft process, but none have had the skill set and intangibles that Tebow brings to the table.

Just look at the situation in Pittsburgh right now. You think you are going to hear about Tebow going out and messing around at clubs with women? Dogfighting? Murder? Anything? No. And he was surrounded by plenty of trouble at UF, I'm sure he could have at least gotten a traffic ticket or something?! No. He will be a role model for kids in his community and well be advertised just as he has been the past couple of years. Just check out the "Tim Tebow Foundation" website.

He is a player that makes others around him better, in college and the NFL. You cant say just because he is in the NFL people wont respect him? Why wouldn't they? There is no reason to doubt Tebow's knowledge, desire, and passion for the game. Again, check the 2008 SEC Championship Game.

Jamarcus Russell had the arm-strength, size, and talent to apparently be an NFL great at one point. Hey, genius ESPN scout and Tebow-hater Mel Kiper said of Russell when he was drafted-

"Jamarcus Russell’s gonna immediately energize that Raider Nation, that fan base, that football team—on the practice field, in that locker room—three years from now you could be looking at a guy that’s certainly one of the elite top five quarterbacks in this league. You’re talking about a 2-3 year period once he’s under center. Look out because skill level that he has is certainly John Elway like."

Wow, and this is the same guy that says Tebow is just another project quarterback. You saw his improvement in just six weeks from the Senior Bowl to his highly profiled Pro-Day. He showed very noticeable improvement in his footwork, accuracy, and throwing motion.

But more importantly is the bigger picture. If he showed that improvement in just 6 weeks, what would an entire NFL off-season behind a seasoned veteran like Brett Favre or Tom Brady do?

Truth is, Tebow never really did attempt to remake his throwing motion while at Florida. His had worked at the time, so why change it? This is going to be Tebow's real, first shot at completely improving his all around game to get up to NFL standards.

Tebow has the mindset of a champion, and isn't going to let any wannabe scout show him up.