Tebow Pro Prospects?

by Brendan Collins
(Auburn, Alabma)

Update (Jan 30, 2010): Well, the Senior Bowl is over and Tim Tebow did not have a good outing. He had rough week handling the ball from center since he's not used to it (operated out of shotgun at Florida). In the game itself, Tebow had a couple fumbles his longest completion was 11 yards. It was clear Tebow needs to work on his footwork, accuracy, and his long, slow delivery of the football.

Having said all that, he still has great intangibles; leadership; and certainly is tough and can run.

The consensus is that he will not make it as a QB in the NFL. However, certainly a team will give him a shot and he'll likely go in the 3rd or 4th round.

If he makes it; he'll break the NFL QB mold. We'll be pulling for him here at SEC Sports Fan.

The University of Florida has a great quarterback. Tim Tebow, or Superman (as the vast majority of Gator fans would have you believe), is without question the top run/pass spread quarterback in the nation. Now before some people in Austin start sending me death threats, let’s think about sophomore seasons for a minute. One of them got the Heisman, the other suffered through a clinical case of a sophomore slump.

While we are at it, let’s now quickly quell the dissent of those Mountaineers in Morgantown. One of them plays in the SEC, home to the nation’s top defenses, and the other has only put up comparable numbers with a whole extra year and done so in the Big East, which has considerably weaker defenses.

With more than three miles worth of yardage to his name, Tebow has quite publicly gone about breaking down records almost as easily as he has broken down defenses. With over 200 total points, well over 5,000 pass yards, 51 passing touchdowns and a career passer rating nudging 180 through eight games into his junior year, Tebow has all the statistics of a solid passing quarterback, but let’s not overlook that the kid can run too. He has rushed for over 1,500 yards and almost 40 touchdowns, not bad for a quarterback. So, what’s the problem?

Well… how do you fit that into the NFL? Or do you?

When Tebow decides to end his career at Florida, and whether it is with another Heisman or not, he will be an NFL draft prospect. But how valuable of a prospect will he be? Let’s take a look at how Tebow is successful on the college gridiron.

A major part of his success can be attributed to his run/pass threat. Defenses are often forced to dedicate at least one linebacker to watching Tebow, which in turn, frees up more space on the field for receivers. He has considerable speed to go along with his size so when he does take off on a run, it often takes more than one defender to bring him down and a fairly quick one at that. Those are the obvious reasons for his success.

Now, let’s look at the system Florida employs to utilize him to his full potential. They usually send receivers or backs in motion, and with outside speed threats such as Percy Harvin and Chris Rainey, these have to be taken seriously. Thus, the defense is often spread thin and the middle is wide open for a Tebow rush.

Florida also uses numerous formations and personnel sets that are not ordinary looks for most defenses, requiring more read on the part of defenses and often giving Florida and Tebow that extra half second to execute plays. This may not seem like a whole lot, but with speedy players like Harvin and Rainey, a half second can be nearly five yards.

His statistical success has also hinged on the fact that for the entire 2007 season, Florida’s offense became as predictable as a metronome inside the ten. All twenty-two players on the field, both sidelines, and usually all but a few toddlers in the stands knew that Tebow would get the ball and go straight up the middle.

The difference in the Pro game is simple. Professional teams do not use the same kinds of formations and personnel sets that Florida uses. Professional defenses are bigger, faster, and quicker at reading defenses than even the best college defenses. Players in motion rarely open the middle for rushes on NFL plays.

Tebow’s speed and size will not be as much of a factor because NFL defenses deal with players with his size and speed weekly. Few NFL teams employ as many speedsters as Florida does because NFL defenses are just as fast, so it is not simply about speed.

I am not implying that Florida’s fast players do not have talent but you cannot just fake a handoff to a fast player in the NFL and expect the defense to be thrown off long enough to give a player like Tebow much room. So it comes back to his run/pass threat.

Is Tebow a good enough passer to play in an NFL pocket and use his mobility to keep plays alive, instead of using his mobility to make plays? As stated above, a large portion of Tebow’s rushing touchdowns were procured inside the ten yard line; NFL teams tend to have running backs for such situations and would not have their precious quarterback dive right up the middle to take a shot from an NFL linebacker.

Tebow’s shoulder started to wear on him during his sophomore season due to the frequency of hard hits he was taking from defenses in the SEC, and well the NFL will be just like that, except every hit will be like that. I am not doubting the kid’s toughness, or saying that he could not survive in the NFL, but I am saying that he will not rush for 40 touchdowns in three NFL seasons and still be standing straight after.

At the end of the day, I tip my hat to the guy for putting the Gators on his back for the 2007 season and was rightfully awarded a Heisman for his efforts. I feel he may be one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the game right now and is a class act on and off the field. I like that he is captaining the Florida ship in 2008 and is simply the maestro for Florida’s offensive orchestra.

I do, however, wonder in what capacity he will be able to play in the NFL, if at all. He evidently has talent, but is it quite the right skill set for the Professional game?

Here's more views of whether Tebow will make it in the NFL.

Of course, the hot Tebow issue at the moment is the Tebow Super Bowl Commercial Controversy.

Comments for Tebow Pro Prospects?

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Nov 07, 2008
Tebow Will Be An NFL QB
by: Luke

Very nice review. I really agree with you completely that Tebow's running ability will not be as important in the NFL.

However, it still will be a big asset and I think his passing ability is good enough. All in all, I think he'll be drafted in the second round; be a backup QB for a couple years while he learns the pro game and improves his pocket passing.

And, ultimately be a good starting QB in the NFL.

We'll see.

For now, he's a GREAT college QB and may win the Heisman again this year!

Nov 23, 2008
Get a life & learn how to judge a player correctly.
by: Tim Tebow Is The Michael Jordan Of Football

Let us review.

Tom Brady, a spread offense QB for NE was drafted by the New England Patriots in the "sixth round" (199th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft.

Payton Manning also runs a spread offense.

How many MVP's, NFL records & Super Bowls between them?

Oh wait...I'm sorry I've run out of fingers and toes to count...

Tebow will be an NFL star that will do just fine for any NFL team willing to incorporate a spread offense because Tim Tebow has heart, drive, an umatchable work ethic, and the will to win.

Did you not hear what he said after his one point loss to Old Miss this season.


Oh and on top of the 7 straight wins, how many points have they racked up in the last 7 games alone?


That is not a typo.. 369 total points scored.

That is more points that most college basketball teams score in a single game..let alone in a football game.

Get a life. And think before you speak.

Nov 29, 2008
Tebow will struggle in the NFL
by: Anonymous

Tebow is a great college QB who has better team talent then the teams he plays against. In the NFL, he will not have this luxury. The problem with QB's like Tebow is that they have never fully develop their passing game because it is always easier to acheive their objective by running the ball. They run first and throw second. Guys like Ben Rothlesberger, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning were always the slowest guy on the field so they naturally had to throw the ball. This allows them to develop into more mature passers. I don't forsee Tebow becoming a long term NFL starting QB. He won't feel comfortable passing in the NFL and will revert back to running. He will take big time shots and probably be in a constant battle against injury.

Dec 07, 2008
Teaboe to turn pro
by: gatorjohn

Tim Teabow is better than 5 qb's in the NFL today.

Dec 18, 2008
1 More Year
by: Anonymous

Tebow will definatly shine in the pros, no doubt. But i think he should stay one more year at Florida keep working on his passing game and then go to the pros. He could definantly play quater back but he will need to either start off as back-up quaterback and work his way up, if some one wants to draft him as starting quaterback then they will have to (most likely) realign their offensive line, but it would be worth it, anywhere Tebow goes thats were the Trophys are going to end up. I mean generally he can play any position he wants tightend, quarterback, but I think he would be one of the most beastly quaterbacks in the NFL

Jan 11, 2009
Tebow is excellent value as a 2nd rounder in the NFL draft
by: Anonymous

Tim Tebow is intriguing and I really like the original review. Although I am a harsh critic, and am not thrilled with his release point on many passes at all as he tends to throw way too much off his back foot, I think he will be a starting NFL quarterback for many years in all probability.

The oklahoma kid, Bradford, by the way, is who should be taken with the first pick in the first round, but that is another story.

In the same way that left handed batters have those beautiful swings at the plate, it is just the opposite with most left handed quarterbacks. They all look like they throw off their back foot, with the ball sailing on them, with the one exception being John Elway, who even in college, came right over the top, nose down, magnficent.

Could Tebow be another Steve Young, a premiere NFL quarterback and left handed hall of famer? Tebows throwing needs work. His bullish nature actually impedes his development as a Pro. QB.

Young was different: he had tremendous footspeed and quickness, but he never deluded himself that he was a running QB. He never took the hits. He was a pass and move guy first.

Tebow is different. He is a bull out there with excellent north south speed. Although he showed wonderful quickness and the best I have ever seen him show against oklahoma, he may well thicken up as a pro, and this too could hurt him a lot as it will destroy that quickness.

Bottom line: nice arm strength, excellent speed and leadership, but the things that make him exceptional as a college QB, as the original reviewer and poster indicates, may work against him as a pro. He will need to be re-engineered. Time will tell.

An excellent second round pick no doubt in my mind, but he will need a top flight qb coach in the pros to re-develop him.

Mar 07, 2009
by: Anonymous

HUH...... All these years watching John Elway the previous poster now tells us Elway was a "lefty", WOW! Elway had me fooled.

btw. If Steve Young didn't take hits in the pro game, how do you explain ALL of his concusions? Did he exert too much pressure while blowing his nose?

The "HONKS" are down on Tebow. Most are evaluating Tebow to what someone else tells them. While most were never born while players of Tebows type were ruling college & pro football of yesteryear and Tebow would give those guy's a run for their money.

Quite frankly, this young man will revolutionize the way the QB position will be played in the future.

Hopefully, there will be a coach and an OC at the next level that will think outside of the box to utilize Tebows God given gifts to their FULL potential, instead of turning into something he's not.

Aug 29, 2009
Mayor of Morgantown
by: Anonymous

Are you talking about Pat White? The same Pat White that ran all over the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl?

They are two different players, both great in their own way. White with speed and Tebow with his power.

Aug 29, 2009
Stop the insanity
by: Anonymous

Tim Tebow is a good quarterback. Period. Why is it that Gator fans seem to think that this guy is the next Dan Marino, or Brett Favre. I understand he has won 2 National Championships and the Heisman, but put away the capes and kriptonite, he is a GOOD quarterback.
I must agree with the previous post that the back foot delivery is going to really be a problem for him in the NFL. The trying to tuck and run every time the receiver isn't open won't fly in the NFL, not to mention he is NO Michael Vick when it comes to speed. I would take him 1st round, but not top 5 picks. Oh and Gator fans, save the cape for another superstar.

Aug 30, 2009
SEC Fans are clueless
by: Anonymous

Yes Tebow is a great college quarterback. Key Word there College. He Will never make it as a qb in the pros look at vince young exact same style qb as tebow and what is he doing now?? He is riding the bench. tight end or anything position yes qb no. And by the way Sooners scored 388 points in there last 7 games and bradford will be the one to win his second heisman only reason tebow is in talk is cause thats who media wants to win

Jan 01, 2010
Let's see
by: Anonymous

Vince Young comes to mind. Enuf said.

Jan 01, 2010
Let's see
by: Anonymous

Michael Vick comes to mind. Enuf said.

Jan 15, 2010
Tebow Has Desire to Succeed in NFL
by: Anonymous

In over 40 games, Tebow threw short passes, long passes, thread-the-needle passes throughout the past year. He showed incredible accuracy. I don't care who you are playing, 31 for 35 against an unbeaten, top 10 team, with almost 500 yards of passing, is no fluke. As for style, believe that Tebow threw off his front foot, his back foot, used a jump pass, and threw a perfect completion while falling down. . . .

anybody watch Brett Favre throw a football lately?
He's not fast. He doesn't have the best throwing motion. He just wins. (btw, interesting pass he threw, perfectly placed, to Thompson in the end zone during the Sugar Bowl -- TOO BAD it was off his back foot while falling backwards with a defender in his face -- ain't Tebow-cam grand! Talk about Brett Favre-esque . . . )

No one has even mentioned the one thing that will probably elevate Tebow into the ranks of the best QB's in the league--his incredible desire to succeed. Does this mean he will spend countless hours (and maybe a year or two as a back-up) learning at the feet of another to do whatever it takes to succeed as an NFL QB? Of course it does.

The only really valid criticism of Tebow on becoming a solid NFL QB would be that he doesn't have the brains or raw talent to succeed in a pro system. Take a look at those numbers for his career starts--especially the completion and TD to interception rates. Even the best quarterbacks, when pressured, won't succeed.

Anyone see Tom Brady in his last game? So, it's easy to just say Tebow won't "make it" as an NFL QB because a. he just "won't feel comfortable" ? what does that mean?), b. his throwing motion isn't like Dan Marino's c. he comes from a spread offense--guess you can't be an NFL QB if you ran the spread, a basic disqualifier, or d. he's no ______________________ fill in the blank with an NFL QB, past or present, with similar skill set who did succeed.

Contrary to speculation based on operating a type of offense (and setting all kinds of records doing it), it takes some analysis and understanding of the game to say that Tebow has the determination, as well as the skills, to become a top QB in the league. Based on what I have been hearing about potential first round pick, and a lock second round pick, those who are paid to know these things (as opposed to those in the "armchair") seem to think that Tebow has that potential. Grapevine has it that at least two clubs won't let him get to the second round.

The NFL has never seen anyone like Tebow--he may be the prototype for a new offense (they laughed at the wildcat until they started using it). Guess these NFL guys haven't read the comments above about Tebow's lack of potential.

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