At the conclusion of this year’s Sugar Bowl, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow wrapped up one of the most storied collegiate football careers of all time. No one is disputing that. What is up for debate is how well Tebow’s skill set will translate into the NFL.
College FootBlog will break down the things that made him so successful over the last four years, and we will analyze the degree of success that those skills and attributes should translate to the NFL.
At 6 ft 3 and 245 pounds, Tebow is much bigger than the average linebacker, even at the SEC level. He had the ability to run over the majority of linebackers and DB’s for four seasons.
Will that size and strength translate into the NFL? Not by any stretch of the imagination–not only are NFL linebackers just as big as Tebow, they are much more physical. Tebow will be in for a rude awakening if he tries to run over Ray Lewis or any NFL linebacker, for that matter.
2. Running Ability: While Tebow has never been compared to Pat White in terms of speed, he was fast enough to break off big runs throughout his stellar career. It will be interesting to see his 40-time at the combine this year, but it will be shocking if it is better than 4.6 seconds.
How will his speed translate to the NFL? In the NFL, there are quite a few defensive ends who run 4.6 or better. At the linebacker position, there are even more players who are below the 4.6 range.
3. Touchdown/Interception Ratio: Tebow not only put up huge rushing numbers in college, but he also proved many doubters wrong by being a very efficient passer as well. Over his career, he had 88 TDs and only 16 interceptions.
Will that accuracy translate to the NFL? The odds are against him. There was a significant drop off his senior season, after the losses of wideout Louis Murphy, who started as a rookie for the Raiders and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Percy Harvin.
4. Leadership: There is one thing you cannot take away from Tebow–the young man is a winner. His tenacity and toughness led and inspired his teammates throughout his collegiate career.
Will it translate to the NFL? To an extent–while Tebow will not lose his charisma and moxy, if he wants to be viewed as a leader in the NFL, he will have to earn the respect on the field from his teammates. Off the field, there will be no questioning his drive and leadership abilities, but in the NFL, it is all about what a player does on the field.
Overall, will Tebow make a huge splash in the NFL?
If the history of his peers is any indicator, it may be a rough go of things. Highly-touted QBs from the major Florida programs have not fared well in the NFL (see Rex Grossman, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, Ken Dorsey, Geno Torretta, etc, etc, etc…).
While all of the above mentioned quarterbacks had fantastic college careers, they all had distinct advantages of the speed and athleticism of their wide receivers versus inferior defensive backs. In the NFL, the windows to complete passes are not only much tighter, but if the ball is not delivered at the precise moment, that small opening is quickly shut and can just as quickly turn into a pick-six. The absence of that speed and talent advantage they had in college proved to be detrimental in each of their careers, and could very well be the same for Tim Tebow, but only time will tell.