2010 NFL Draft: Is Tim Tebow the Denver Broncos' Next Great Quarterback?

David BurnettCorrespondent IApril 23, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Easily the biggest surprise of this year’s NFL draft is the Denver Broncos’ selection of the University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round.

Despite Tebow being a Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time national champion, most of the so-called draft experts said his style was not at all suited for the NFL.

His throwing motion was all wrong, they said, and he played in the shotgun, never taking snaps from under center. Some have said he might make a good fullback or tight end, though.

But Tebow long ago broke the mold for what we think quarterbacks are supposed to look like, sound like, and act like.

“I’m going to go in there and do exactly what the coaches tell me and do it with all my heart,” Tebow said in an interview with ESPN after he was selected by the Broncos. When asked what he thinks the Denver coaches will expect from him, he answered by saying, ”Someone that’s going to come in, that’s going to learn, someone that’s going to work, that’s going to stay out of trouble. Someone that’s going to do whatever they ask.“

A corny yet somehow disarmingly honest response. That’s classic Tim Tebow—a yes sir, yes ma’am kind of guy.

For some of us from the old school, it's hard not to like Tim Tebow. He’s everything you’d want a young man to be. He is polite, humble, Bible-quoting, and hungry. Oh, and I should add—he claims to still be a virgin. Who says that? Tim Tebow does. The Tim Tebow story is so pure, so sappy, that it can’t possibly be true, can it?

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For the longest time, I too thought he was too perfect. Too good to be true. But once the so-called experts started telling me that he would struggle in the NFL—if he ever played at all—I became a Tim Tebow guy.

Why? Because I have a problem with anyone telling me that what I have seen has no merit.

My own eyes told me, no matter how much I didn’t like him or his Florida Gators, that for four years, Tebow always seemed to make the right play, either with his feet or his arm. I always felt that if Tim Tebow was on the field, somehow he’d somehow find a way for Florida to score. Sheer force of will it seemed.

His vocal leadership in exhorting his teammates to play harder is now the stuff of college football legend. His leadership was as much responsible for Florida’s success as his play.

But as much as I am hoping that what Tebow says about himself and his convictions are true, I’ve learned the hard way that I must also be willing to accept that the young man’s image might be artificially enhanced (a lie) and that he might one day disappoint his fans by doing some stupid, insensitive, immoral, maybe even illegal, human stuff.

As a kid I cheered for O.J. Simpson. As an adult I’ve cheered for Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger. Obviously I knew nothing about who those men really were or what they were capable of doing away from their sports.

So when I hear a guy like Tebow say that he will try with all his heart to do everything expected of him and learn and grow, and add that he will stay out of trouble, I want to believe him and hope it comes true. But all I really know is that Tim Tebow was a great college football player who has a chance to be Denver’s next great quarterback.

For now, that’s enough. I’ll cheer for that.

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