Although he became less lovable and more annoying as his career progressed, crying at the end of that loss to Alabama and ending every interview with "God bless," Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will go down as one of the greats in college football history.
All eyes will be on Tebow this week, as he puts his vast array of skills on display with the best players in the country at the Senior Bowl. NFL scouts are often brutal in their evaluations, especially when it comes to quarterbacks, so it will be interesting to read the scouting reports coming out of Mobile. Perhaps most importantly, the former Gator will have to learn the basics of a pro-style offense in just a few days of practice and then show he can be resemble a pro-style signal caller come game time Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
For an insider's perspective on the 6-3, 245-pound Tebow and what he brings to the table as a pro prospect, BearReport.com consulted with Chris Steuber, the NFL Draft analyst for Scout.com. ...
Strengths: Tebow is a naturally-gifted athlete who has all the qualities of becoming a star at the next level. He has great size and strength, as well as an elite arm. He's an accurate passer who hits his receivers in stride. He shows poise and toughness in the pocket and will wait until the last moment to pull the trigger or tuck and run. He possesses excellent vision and uses his footwork and strength to gain positive yards. He's an outstanding leader and demonstrates high character on and off the field.
Weaknesses: He primarily worked out of the shotgun and will have to learn to take snaps under center. He has to work on his mechanics and learn a pro-style offense. He has to rework his throwing motion and develop better footwork in the pocket. He locks onto his first read too often and doesn't consistently look for his second and third options. He's taken a lot of hits over his career, and durability is an issue.
Steuber Says: Tebow has had a storied career at the University of Florida. He's a three-time All-American, a two-time winner of the Maxwell Award, a Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time national champion. Now, it's Tebow's turn to show what he can do at the next level as a quarterback. He's probably the most controversial prospect in draft history because, despite all of his accolades, many believe Tebow has received his last snap. Tebow has what it takes to be a QB in the NFL, but it will take time. If he ends up in a situation where he can learn for a few years behind a quality veteran, he has a chance to develop. But if he's forced to play right away in a bad situation, it's a disaster waiting to happen.
JC's Take: The Monsters of the Midway are without a first-round pick in April's draft because it was part of last year's trade with Denver for Jay Cutler, so this organization is committed to him under center for the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, considering some areas where the Chicago offense struggled in 2009, coupled with the fact that there is room on the roster for a No. 3 QB behind Cutler and backup Caleb Hanie, adding Tebow to the mix – and giving him an array of Wildcat-inspired plays to master, of course – is a bar-stool debate just waiting to happen. In particular, Matt Forte has proven to be anything but reliable in short-yardage and goal-line situations, while Tebow converted time and time again plowing up the middle from the shotgun formation, even though everybody in the building knew a keeper was coming. He can't throw nearly as well as Cutler, but the Jets made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game with Brad Smith making big plays out of the Wildcat this season, and Tebow is twice the passer Smith ever was at Missouri.
Tebow will most likely be off the board by the time Chicago is on the clock at No. 75 overall in Round 3, especially since his hometown Jaguars need to sell tickets, but the thought of him in a specialty role with the Bears is intriguing to say the least.
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Mobile Analysis: QB Tim Tebow
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