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Posted Feb. 11, 2010

Prospect Case Study: Tim Tebow

In the 2007 NFL Draft, there was a quarterback with the greatest physical tools of any prospect in the history of the NFL Draft, but the problem was he had late-round intangibles.

His name was JaMarcus Russell out of Lousiana State. He went to the combine weighing in at over 280 pounds and didn't show much interest in getting into good condition for the biggest job interview of his life. He had a rumored lazy work ethic and didn't put much work in the film room. He lacked leadership qualities.

Despite this, scouts and general managers were enthralled. He was the consensus top quarterback prospect in the 2007 NFL Draft, and years later, I don't blame the Raiders for taking him that high only because every other team would have as well. I had Brady Quinn as my top quarterback in that draft, and while he hasn't panned out like I expected, he certainly has more of a future in this league than Russell.

Russell was the case study of the quarterback with all tangibles and no intangibles.

This year, we have the antithesis to Russell in Florida's Tim Tebow.

People say he has an elite work ethic and leadership qualities. He is mentally tough and clean off the field.

However, he has absolutely no passing skills, and like I have been saying for the past three years (which experts are recently catching up to) - he likely won't pan out at quarterback in the NFL (and I doubt he will).

Regardless of my opinion, there is still a (very small) chance Tebow pans out because this dynamic hasn't happened yet.

If Tebow can develop into a consistent starting quarterback in the NFL, then we have to change the way we evaluate the position. Intangibles will go up in stock in terms of the evaluation at the quarterback position.

However, if Tebow doesn't pan out, then we also have to change our thinking a little bit in terms of saying that no matter how great a quarterback's intangibles are, if he has too many weaknesses it ultimately doesn't matter.

When I do radio interviews (or answer e-mails) I am OFTEN asked what specific things I look for on tape.

My answer? I look for everything. Everything is important. The only position where I single out certain, must-have attributes is receiver. To give a solid first-round grade, he must have good hands and run polished routes. But I digress.

The Tim Tebow Hypothesis: As when I evaluate prospects, I am simply looking at how well-rounded a prospect is. No matter how great a player is in one area, he must be capable of doing several things well as well as having adequate intangibles. Therefore, my hypothesis is despite Tebow's great intangibles, there isn't enough substance there for me to believe he can actually be a playmaking quarterback in the league.

Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

Analyzing Andrew Luck's Decision - 1/7
Luck vs. Locker - 9/15
Top 10 Quarterback Busts - 7/7
NBA Draft vs. NFL Draft - 6/27
Six Sophomores Who Need to Step Up - 6/2
Kentucky 2010 NBA Draft Prospect Blog - 6/1
Brett Favre Retirement Conditions - 5/30
2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year - 5/24
2010 NFL Power Rankings Tier - 5/21
2010 NFL Power Rankings - 5/18
NFL Mailbag: C.J. Spiller and Buffalo Bills Reaction - 5/14
LeBron James Game 6 Reaction - 5/14
The Buffalo Bills - 5/13
LeBron James: Celtic Pride - 5/13
The JaMarcus Russell Lesson - 5/11
Most Productive 2010 NFL Rookies - 5/6
Double Down - 4/30
2010 NFL Draft Observations and Telecast Blog - 4/26
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Day 3 - 4/25
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Rounds 1-3 - 4/24
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Trade Analysis - 4/23
Random Round 1 Thoughts and Analysis - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Class Predictions - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Trades - 4/21
Response to Mike Mayock's Redskins-Trent Williams Comment - 4/8
Teams Misevaluating Their Own Quarterbacks - 4/6
Where Will Jimmy Clausen Go? - 4/5
2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Picks - 3/25
Gerald McCoy's Draft Range - 3/12
NFL Draft Picks Are Business Investments (Anthony Davis) - 3/11
Offense Matters - 3/9
Mel Kiper vs. Todd McShay Debate Revisited - 3/8
Taylor Mays - 3/3
"He's a Winner" ... Not Really - 3/2
Quarterback Height (Jimmy Clausen) - 2/25
The Top Five Reasons the Redskins Won't Pass on Jimmy Clausen - 2/22
2010 NFL Draft: All-Overhyped and Underrated Teams - 2/18
Matt Ryan and the Rams - 2/17
Prospect Case Study: Tim Tebow - 2/11
2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades - 1/20
Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl - 1/14
Junior Quarterbacks/Jimmy Clausen - 12/29
2010 NFL Draft Prospect Updates - 12/21
The Michael Oher Lesson - 12/20
Cameron Heyward's Ceiling - 12/17
Jake Locker to Return for Senior Season - 12/15
Top Four Scenario - 12/8
"Suh" is Elite - 12/7
Carlos Dunlap Update - 11/11
Player to Watch - 10/30
Alpha Quarterback - 10/29
2010 NFL Draft Mailbag - 10/28
O Bradford, Where Art Thou (Draft Stock)? - 10/27
The Trojan Torpedo - 10/26
Quarterback Mobility - 10/23
Charles Brown's Stock on the Rise - 10/18
Mays-Clausen and Gaines Adams - 10/17
Mr. Overrated - 10/14
2010 NFL Draft Cursed? - 10/8
Conservative Carroll - 9/22
The Crabtree Lesson - 9/21
Scouting Notes: Weeks 2-3 - 9/20
Terrelle Pryor - NFL QB? - 9/15
Jay Cutler Trade Evaluation - 9/14
THE Choke State University - 9/13
2009 NFL Predictions - 9/10
2009 College Football Predictions - 9/3
The Brett Favre Line - 8/20
Why Vick Hasn't Signed - 8/12
The Vince Young Lesson - 8/10
Vegas NFL Power Rankings - 8/9
Dorsey Fat - Chiefs Stupid - 8/7
Eli Manning: The $100 Million Man - 8/6
Predicting Future Needs Part II - 8/4
NFL Draft Moved - 7/24
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