Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. AP Photo.
He's perhaps the most intriguing player in the 2010 NFL Draft – both on and off the field.
He's won the Heisman Trophy and helped guide the Florida Gators to not one, but two national championships in his four-year college career. Plus, he's making news this weekend for a politically controversial Super Bowl ad in which he'll appear.
But is Tim Tebow an NFL quarterback? Is he even an NFL-caliber player? Some observers question whether Tebow's skills could allow him to play another position at the pro level. And depending on which mock draft or so-called expert you believe, Tebow could be drafted anywhere from the first round to the seventh.
However, given the strong connection that Tebow's head coach, Urban Meyer, enjoys with New England's Bill Belichick, it's only natural to speculate on whether the Patriots would be interested in drafting Tebow.
*Patriots Football Weekly *steers clear of politics and sticks to the pigskin in this week's Debate Friday.
Should the Patriots draft Tim Tebow?
Read the arguments from the PFW writers, then cast your vote in this week's poll.
Erik Scalavino says, "Yes, in Round 2 --"
If you've watched any Florida football games over the past four years – and they've been on TV plenty – you've seen what Tebow can do. He may not be the greatest passer in college football history, nor the greatest runner the college game has ever seen.
But you're telling me there isn't a place for this guy in the pros? I don't buy it.
I don't think he's a legitimate, long-term solution at quarterback, but neither is Pat White in Miami, or Brad Smith with the Jets, both of whom were quarterbacks at the college level and are now gimmick players. Heck, even Eric Crouch, another former college QB who won the Heisman, would've had a decent NFL career if he wasn't so intransigent about switching positions.
With the growing popularity of Wildcat-style offensive packages in the NFL, teams need at least one player on their roster who can handle the job. Tebow would be ideal for the Patriots. Moreover, he has the size and smarts to convert to either fullback or H-back, thereby making him more valuable than simply a part-time QB or wide receiver, as Smith and White are with their respective AFC East teams.
Bill Belichick loves versatile players, and Tebow certainly falls in that category. Plus, knowing Meyer as well as he does, Belichick would, in Tebow, probably have the most detailed scouting report of any player in this year's draft. Furthermore, if Tebow were on the Patriots, he'd have an advantage that no other player in his position would have – the chance to improve his quarterback skills by learning from Tom Brady.
I don't believe Tebow is the heir apparent to Brady, but given his obvious talents and solid character, and the fact that the Patriots have three second-round choices in this year's draft, I could see them investing one of those on Tebow.
Andy Hart says, "No --"
Tim Tebow was a great college football player, one of the greats of all time. But that doesn't mean he'll be even a contributing professional. I don't see where he fits in, with any high value early in his career, on any team. I certainly don't think he's the type of player the Patriots should focus on in the first two rounds of this April's draft.
First, what position is Tebow going to play in the pros? He's not a quarterback. Some may think he'd be Tom Brady's heir apparent, but I see him more as an apparent err if he's drafted with any expectations as a signal caller. He has a slow-motion motion and lacks accuracy, beyond other passing faults that include inexperience under center and reading coverages. He's not fast enough to convert to running back. He was a great power-running, short-yardage college quarterback. That's not really a job description in the NFL. H-back or fullback? Maybe, but he's never caught the ball or blocked before, so that's a pretty big projection as well.
Big-bodied projects may get drafted high in the NBA Draft, but they are seen more as risks than rewards in the NFL Draft. And they usually don't work out in the NBA, either.
Now let's get to the meat of many arguments for Tebow. He's supposedly this perfect human being and team leader. That's all fine and dandy as a college star. But do you really think some rookie prima donna without a position is going to walk into the Gillette Stadium locker room and become the leader that these Patriots supposedly need? Sorry, but leaders who don't play quickly become followers. You simply can't lead from the bench with any overwhelming value, certainly not as a rookie.
The bottom line is that given his college success, Bill Belichick's relationship with the Florida program and the advent of the Wildcat in the NFL, Tebow's name is being more hotly debated – both inside New England and across the league – than it should be. He was a great college story and winner. For that he should be commended. But it should not get him taken high in the NFL draft. That would simply be a mistake and I hope the Patriots – with such a big need for top-end playmakers at a variety of spots – are not the team to make that mistake come April.
Now it's the fans turn to offer their vote on the debate.