As the NFL Draft nears, the biggest storyline, for some preposterous reason, is Tim Tebow.
When will he be drafted? Where will he go? First round? Second? Even later?
Everyone seems to have an opinion about this, and I am no different. Here it is: as an NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow stinks.
I don't think he's a valid NFL backup, and I'm certain that he isn't and never will be a valid starter. I'm not even convinced he's a decent third-string QB.
College success doesn't equate to NFL success, particularly at the quarterback position, particularly coming out of a college-style offense, particularly in the SEC, and even more particularly, from the Univesity of Florida.
Look at Rex Grossman. Danny Wuerffel. Brock Berlin. Remember Ingle Martin? Probably not. What about Jesse Palmer? Besides being the Bachelor, he didn't have much of a career.
Tebow is no different. He had loads of success in college, won a title and a Heismann, and wons lots and lots of games. He has tons of success. But so did JaMarcus Russell. Matt Leinart. Vince Young. Joey Harrington. Did I mention, JaMarcus Russell?
In college, mobility is key. If you have mobility and a few good intangibles, you're king.
In the NFL, you need a quick release, accuracy, and most importantly, good decision-making. And you need all of those things in about half the time while mosters like Ray Lewis are trying to kill you.
That's why smart NFL teams draft "NFL-ready" quarterbacks - guys like Matt Ryan or Sam Bradford, who played at colleges that used a pro-style, two-RB backfield set. Tim Tebow is the opposite of "NFL ready."
Scouts and analysts say: "Give him a chance." "He's a good kid." "He's tough, coachable, determined and really nice."
How does that make him any different from me?
Look, if I'm drafting in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th round or even later, the issue isn't simply: Tebow's there, should we take him?
It's not just a draft of quarterbacks. Every team in the NFL has needs, even the Saints and Colts. If the Lions are picking in the 5th round and Tebow is still there, I could care less. We have needs in the secondary and could use depth on both lines, and I'll take depth over a media circus 7 days a week.
I heard Colin Cowherd say on the radio today that Tebow is a poor-man's Vince Young. From a physical standpoint, I couldn't agree more. Young is a crazy man and Tebow is a great kid, but that's beside the point.
Both guys have good mobility and speed, a trait that means little in the NFL if you can't throw the ball. Both guys have slow and awkward releases. Neither guy is comfortable in a collapsing NFL pocket, which leads to slow decision-making, which leads to sacks and turnovers. Tebow and Young both have bad accuracy AND below average arm strength.
And Tebow is a poor-man's Vince Young.
The point is, whichever team drafts Tebow in April will make a nice kid's dream come true, give him millions and give a warm fuzzy feeling to millions of football fans. They'll also be making a stupid mistake and missing out on dozens of actual NFL-caliber players.
And I hope it's the Steelers.