March 31, 2010

The Tim Tebow Experiment (Part Two)

With Tim Tebow as the center of attention in this year's NFL draft, it will be one of the more hyped offseason events in years.

Tebow was invited to attend the draft in New York City even though he will likely slide pass the first round. To have a player who is not a first round grade be asked to the draft is unheard of.

But of course, this is Tim Tebow.

While all the media and talking heads have been going bonkers with Tebow-Mania, NFL scouts are confused as to what to make of the former Gator great.

In college, Tebow operated in the spread-option offense. It involved plenty of decision making for the quarterback, but most of it regarded decision making on the ground. Tebow was not a drop back passer and rarely threw the ball vertically.

This inexperience in the passing game has led many NFL front offices to question whether Tebow can succeed at the professional level. Add to the dilemma the fact that Tebow has mechanical issues at quarterback and his future at the position in the NFL is not promising.

However, Tebow is already working to correct an awkward release and lackluster footwork. In the month between the NFL Combine and his Pro Day, Tebow fixed his release, leading several scouts to buy into the fact that Tebow will eventually develop into an NFL starter.

The work Tebow has already put in is an indicator that he serious about making himself as good a player as he can possibly be. He is a winner and a competitor, and thus far, there hasn't been anything he has come up short in.

That ability to succeed something NFL executives want to see, but they will have to determine if selecting Tebow is worth the time and effort it will take to mold him into a viable player.

Someone will make that gamble and with good reason. There isn't much to dislike if a team can get him after the first round. In the very least, it will boost the exposure of the team that drafts him; at best it could lead to big things should Tebow become a franchise QB.

Tebow has made the rounds in the past several months. His name has been mentioned in connection with a handful of teams including the Redskins.

The Redskins have a second round pick and are interested in adding a QB in this year's draft. Tebow will reportedly visit the Redskins next week according to Adam Schefter along with the bulk of the other top rated QBs in the draft.

Washington had representatives in attendance for Tebow's Pro Day, and head coach Mike Shanahan had high praise for him.

"Here's a guy to me that brings everything to the table. He'll interview with 30 people, work out for everybody [and] when you're with him, he's just an off-the-chart guy," Shanahan said. "Those guys don't come around all the time. Especially with the success that he's had."

Obviously the draft process involves a lot smoke and mirrors. Shanahan isn't going to tip his hand and tell you a whole lot about the players he's evaluating.

And yet, he did gush about Tebow like so many others have. Clearly, he will likely end up as a consideration for any team in the market for a QB.

As for the prospect of Tebow coming to Washington DC, it could happen.

Washington has shown strong signs towards acquiring a new QB to eventually take over for incumbent starter Jason Campbell.

Shanahan has been enamored with Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford, but should circumstances dictate it, the Redskins might end up waiting to take a QB until the second round.

It's not a sure thing, but don't be shocked if Tebow-Mania takes over center stage in the District this year.

Tebow the person is everything a football team and a community could want. It's simply a matter of if he can come through on the field.

That burning question of whether Tebow the player can live up to Tebow the person is racing through NFL circles. Tim Tebow is the enigma of the 2010 NFL draft.

Which team will decide he is worth it?

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