When I listed Tim Tebow as my No. 1 overall pick in my 2009 NFL Mock Draft, Matt McGuire nearly went ballistic. He and I had an argument on the Forum, so I thought I’d post the highlights, as well as some of the other users’ comments.

Matt: Walter, Tim Tebow is not an elite prospect by any means. I doubt he will be even drafted in the first round.

Walt: Tim Tebow’s currently one of the top prospects eligible for the 2009 Draft. You may not like him, and you may think he’ll be a bust, but that’s just your opinion. Personally, I think he’ll be great. But that has nothing to do with why he’s such a heralded prospect.

Matt: why do you like Tebow? Because he runs around, which he won’t do in the NFL? Do you like his Leftwich-slow release? How overrated he is because the scheme makes him look better than what he actually is, similarly to Alex Smith?

Walt: But Alex Smith did go No. 1, and Tebow is 500 times the quarterback Smith ever was. I don’t get how he’s not the No. 1 prospect.

Matt: How is Tebow better than Smith was AS A PROSPECT, much less 500 times better? You like Tebow’s size, his arm, how he runs around… but it takes more than that to be a quarterback, and I am telling you his passing skills are so raw it isn’t funny.

The spread option makes him look so much better than he actually is because defenses have to take account for the run, the misdirection, reverses, etc. Things will change for Tebow in the NFL like they did for Smith.

Tim Tebow going first in the 2009 NFL Draft?

Tim Tebow – Not making any reads because he’s too busy pwning n00bs in the SEC.

Walt: You keep bringing up Smith, yet fail to acknowledge that he went No. 1 – which happens to be what I’m talking about. And it doesn’t matter, Matt. It doesn’t matter if you think Tebow can’t play. The fact remains that enough people – including GMs, coaches and scouts – think he can, meaning that if this draft were to occur tomorrow, he’d go top three.

Matt: Top three? Thats hilairious. I think Tebow could make a great running fullback in the NFL. As a quarterback… he can have an average career. Scouts aren’t as impressed with Tebow as you think he is.

Walt: Top three is hilarious, my bad. Top one would be more accurate right now. He is by far the best quarterbacking prospect available in the 2008 or 2009 draft classes. I know, blah blah… he’s going to be an average quarterback. I completely disagree with you. I just don’t see why you don’t like Tebow at all. Quite frankly, there is absolutely no reason to not like him as a draft prospect.

There are five attributes when looking at quarterbacks: Accuracy, Arm Strength, Leadership, Mobility/Size, Making Reads.

I don’t think Tebow lacks in any of those departments. He’s got a strong, accurate arm. He can run downfield if he needs to. He’s a great leader. And he’s a winner.

Matt: Chris Leak was a winner… Ryan Leaf was a winner… What is your point?

Accuracy… he is good here but the athletes he has to work with at receiver make him look better than what he is.

Arm Strength: Great arm, poor touch.

Mobility: OK… he isn’t going to run over defenses like he is doing in college.

Leadership: I’m concerned about him not being even-keeled (like Manning or Brady) and always being hyped. In psychology you learn for every up there is a down…. what is he like when he loses or is losing in a game? How many come-from-behind victories did Florida have this year? None that I can think of.

Making reads… Yeah right, are you kidding me? Because Alex Smith has had so much great success in the NFL reading defenses… Wow what a joke. How many spread-option quarterbacks have had success in the NFL?

Walt: Tebow plays in the spread option, but he’s not a spread-option quarterback. He can play in any offense – I think that’s where you’re getting this wrong.

Matt: I know Tebow can play in a West Coast offense, but learning how to make reads in a pro offense takes time, and coming from a gimmick offense hinders this. Besides, his mechanics suck.

Walt: But you keep talking about things that will be the reason why he flops in the NFL… I’m just saying he gets drafted high. And besides, mechanics aren’t such a huge deal coming out of college, Matt. Coaches always think they can fix a guy with poor mechanics.

Matt: That’s not true. If Tebow is being taught proper mechanics and he can’t do them (footwork, delivery, progressions) then how is he going to learn it in the NFL going up against defenses that are twice as fast with a playbook five times as thick?

Walt: You repeatedly see coaches taking players with poor mechanics. They pride themselves in thinking they can fix a quarterback. Someone’s going to fall in love with Tebow’s incredible build, speed and arm strength, and draft him high as a project.

Other Posters’ Thoughts on Tim Tebow in the 2009 NFL Draft (in order of them being posted):

EASports – You have to be on crack to not think Tebow is a top-three pick (depending on team need). Have you seen who gets picked No. 1 in the draft? Tebow put up more touchdowns, completed more throws, passed for more yards and ran for more yards in one year as a starter then Alex Smith did in his career. This “system” guy went No. 1 in draft. How is it so ridiculous to think that the super-human version of him could go just as high?

Alex Smith’s career has been sub par at best, but if you watched him play last year, he was getting better. His Offensive coordinator left. Then you have the huge drop off this year. Heck, ask Philip Rivers how nice is it to have your coordinator leave. It’s a quaterback killer.

vbsiena24 – Well, maybe you’re both right. Tebow might go Top 3, and he might pull a David Carr and amount to nothing. Just set the franchise who drafts him back 4-5 years. Yeah, I can see that happening.

Joey_Potter – Tebow has one or two years left. No one says he can’t make more than two reads either; he just doesn’t have to. When I played I could do a lot of things I disn’t have to. Maybe he can’t make more than two reads. We don’t know. If he has good field awareness and patience, he will learn to make better reads. If he doesn’t, he will be a good backup in the pro game. Too many facters to rule him out of that No. 1 spot at this point.

giantsfanmike – While I believe Tebow is a better prospect than Alex Smith due to the fact hes performing just as well as Smith was yet against much better competition, there are some things in his game that instantly do not make him a top prospect in my opinion.

GridIron NUt – You are right about him not being able to run around in the NFL, BUT he reminds me a lot of Ben Roethlisberger, only better. He’s big, and he will be able to escape the pocket when needed and maybe break one for a big gain like we’ve seen from Big Ben.

He CONSTANTLY throws off the back foot. For any top quarterback to be considered a top prospect, they need to at least be able to perform the basic mechanical tasks as a quarterback. The fact he also lifts his back foot off the ground when throwing is something I think scouts would not like either due to the fact he uses his back foot to give him more power. It suggests to me that this guy would not be able to make big downfield throws without using his back foot.

regoob2 – I think Tebow is very overrated. Right now he is not a top-10 pick.

2009 NFL Mock Draft

2008 NFL Mock Draft

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Matt McGuire’s 2008 NFL Mock Draft