Tim Tebow, QB - Florida
Weight: 236 pounds
40 time: 4.71
One of the greatest and most decorated players in college football history, Tim Tebow enters the NFL under a bigger spotlight than any player in recent memory. A player who offers some of the most unique character traits off the field that scouts have ever seen, Tebow has unparalleled leadership qualities that helped him win two National Championships in college.
Tim was one of the most productive players in college football history, having won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 as the first sophomore to ever do so while also being a three-time Heisman Trophy finalist. The SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 and 2009, Tebow is the only player in NCAA history to run and throw for 20 touchdowns in a season. Tebow has already been inducted into the University of Florida’s Hall of Fame and he was a three-time All-American during his career. He won the Maxwell Award twice (2008, 2009) as the Collegiate Player of the Year in addition to winning the Davey O’Brien Award (2007) as the top quarterback in the country. Tebow leaves Gainesville owning five NCAA, 14 SEC, and 28 Florida records. A three-year starter for the Gators, Tebow finished his career with the Gators having thrown for 9,285 yards, 88 touchdowns, and just 16 interceptions with a 66.4% completion percentage (661-995) in four years; he also rushed for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns (NCAA record); he also owns the NCAA single-season rushing touchdown leader by a quarterback (23).
Tim is a proven winner who has carried his team on his shoulders time and time again and enters the NFL looking to do the same thing for a team at the next level. A two-year captain (2008, 2009) for Gators, Tim Tebow offers the type of character, intangibles, and phenomenal instincts that you can’t coach and you rarely see come through the college. A once-in-a-generation type of football player, Tebow enters the NFL looking to prove doubters wrong who say that he doesn’t have what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL.
From a scouting perspective, Tebow played his entire career in a spread offense at Florida in which he played almost exclusively out of the shotgun. As he makes the jump to the NFL, his mechanics, throwing motion and delivery, and his overall setup as a quarterback will be developed and molded to fit a pro-style offense. With such a high-profile player like Tebow entering the NFL, when you add in the scheme change and the development that will be needed for Tebow to play in the NFL, we may have never seen a prospect quite like Tim.
As a passer, he possesses good arm strength when he is able to step up in the pocket. However, mechanically, he needs to set up well and be comfortable in the pocket in order to make a good throw down the field. Tebow has an elongated delivery in which he drags his arm back like a slingshot before throwing the ball. To play quarterback in the NFL, he must work on developing a quicker release. The elongated motion gives defensive backs a chance to read his throws and break early to make a play on the ball; Urban Meyer’s spread offense prepares quarterbacks to win in college, not to eventually play in the pros. Former Utah quarterback and current San Francisco 49er Alex Smith has made the adjustment to the NFL that Tebow will need to make from Meyer’s spread offense to a pro-style offense, however it has taken Smith awhile to adjust to the new offense.
Tim needs to be coached up on his footwork, as he needs to learn how to set his feet and step up in the pocket to throw the ball; he made several throws in college on his back foot and when he was off-balance, which will not work for him at the next level. Tebow’s accuracy is good in the short-to-intermediate routes and when he’s throwing in front of himself, mainly between the hash marks. As he goes outside the numbers and further down the field, that is where his accuracy starts to become more inconsistent. Tebow lacks velocity on his throws, however that is something that he could developed with a new throwing motion at the next level. He’s shown the ability to throw the ball on the run, however this area will need refining at the next level.
In college, Tim rarely went through his full progressions and reads and often took a look at his first and second receiver and if they weren’t open he would take off and run. He has great mobility and escapability from the pocket, however he must develop a better ability to go through each of his reads and progressions in the passing game if he wants to grow as a quarterback. This is something that will take time for him to develop which is why he likely won’t make an immediate impact as a quarterback. He currently has the arm of a second-to-third string quarterback in the NFL, not of a starter, which is why he needs to undergo the change of his throwing motion and his setup in the pocket.
He also is going to need to adjust to playing more under center in the pros. As a prospect, Tim has great size and bulk for the quarterback position as well as the toughness needed to sit back and take a hit while delivering the ball. I love his ability to make plays in the clutch and he’s proven over the years that he can be counted on when the game means the most. His competitive drive to win games as well as his emotional leadership are things that I love about his game; the passion for the game that he has is tremendous.
As a runner, Tebow has the natural combination of size, strength, and speed to be a dangerous player in the open field who is a tough player to bring down. Tim’s athleticism is certainly among his best assets; he had one of the top workouts of any quarterback at the Combine; his 4.72 40-yard dash ranked fourth-best, his vertical jump of 38.5-inches is the best ever for a quarterback at the Combine, he ranked second in the broad jump at 9’7”, and his time of 6.66 in the 3-cone drill was the best among all quarterbacks. Some scouts feel that Tebow would be best served to move to tight end or H-Back in the NFL, however I don’t fall in that category.
Tebow is going to need some time to develop as a quarterback if he wants to earn a starting job in the NFL; I feel that while he is developing as a signal caller, he could potentially also contribute at tight end, H-Back, or as a wildcat quarterback, however I don’t think that will be the only position he plays in the NFL. His athleticism, as well as where he is drafted will suggest that he should be making an immediate impact; while he won’t do it as a pure quarterback, he could offer his athleticism in the areas listed. Tim has taken a decent amount of hits, which could affect him down the road, long-term, but he currently has no durability concerns. I project that Tebow will be drafted in the late-first to early-second round.
The amount of intangibles and tools that Tim Tebow has are limitless, however he must land in the right situation in the NFL if he’s going to have success at the next level. Landing in a situation where he could develop behind a productive starting quarterback would be his best fit. Tebow will need at least two years of development to become capable of being a successful starting quarterback in the NFL, which is why it is difficult to accurately predict exactly how well he’ll do in the NFL, however I do feel the Tim has what it takes to develop into a successful NFL quarterback who will be an exceptional leader capable of carrying his team on his shoulders. For a player like Tim Tebow, who has one of the best makeups at the quarterback position from an intangibles, intelligence, and instincts standpoint, I don’t see how you could bet against him. At the least, he could be a fine Wildcat/situational quarterback if he isn’t able to make it as a full-time starter.
Notes: Tim was named first-team All-American in 2007 and 2008, and second-team All-American in 2009. He has also been given the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given to the outstanding senior NCAA Division-I Student-Athlete of the Year in football; in 2009 he was also awarded the William V. Campbell trophy, formerly the Draddy Trophy, which is given to the college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance; in 2008 he was given the Manning Award, which is given to the top quarterback in college football, voted on by the Sugar Bowl Committee.
One of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school, Tim was rated as the No. 3 player in the state of Florida, as well as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 22 overall player in the country by Rivals.com. Born in the Philippines, Tebow is an extremely active member in the community who has returned to the Philippines on several occasions to perform service. Tim was homeschooled, but played at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida. A three-year starter in high school, Tebow threw for 9,940 yards (Florida state record) and 95 touchdowns as well as rushing for 3,169 yards and 63 touchdowns over the course of his high school career; he also set the Florida state record as a junior when he threw for 4,286 yards. As a senior, he led his team to the school’s first-ever state championship while being involved in six touchdowns in the championship game. He owns the Florida state prep football records for total offense (12,960), career touchdowns (159), and career completed passes (631). He also owns the single season state records in total offense (5,552), touchdown passes (46), and total touchdowns (70). Tim also played baseball and basketball in high school.
Sure, Tebow won a Heisman and a couple national championships while setting numerous records at Florida; that and a ticket will get him into an NFL game. Since wrapping up his college career, Tebow has embraced the task of remolding himself as a pro quarterback, complete with a new throwing motion. Will it be enough? Considering that Tebow has prototypical NFL size, a big arm, and all of the intangibles plus uncommon athleticism for the position, he certainly has a good base to work from.
Of course, all that revamping and learning will take time. In the short term, Tebow’s only fantasy value will come in special formation situations—Wildcat-like alignments, maybe at the goal line. Down the road, he could develop into a quality quarterback somewhere between a Michael Vick (another big-armed quarterback known more for his running than his throwing), a Vince Young (another proven winner trying to adapt a spread offense to the NFL), and an Alex Smith (another spread quarterback who took time to develop as a pro). None of those aforementioned quarterbacks are real fantasy studs, so it would take a pretty big dynasty roster to warrant keeping Tebow around until he develops. Then again, who’s to argue with 145 career touchdowns? If he can translate even a portion of that productivity to the NFL, it’ll be more than just his college rep selling #15 jerseys.