Per Ben Volin's must-read Gator Bytes blog, he breaks down -- "Daily Show"-style -- the competing theories about Tim Tebow's NFL Draft stock.
On one end, Gil Brandt of NFL.com. Brandt pegs Tebow as a Top 10 pick.
On the other end, there is the Todd McShay (and Mel Kiper) wing, which -- at best -- has Tebow as a 2nd- or 3rd-round QB and -- at worst -- has him playing H-back in the NFL.
I think Brandt will end up being more correct, if not entirely correct. Think back to that recent Sporting News mock draft: They had Tebow going No. 13 to the Redskins.
Here is my upshot: Tebow's draft stock will only go up, for a few reasons:
(1) Full season of Scott Loeffler's tutelage, with at least partial emphasis on NFL preparation;
(2) Jon Gruden's promotion on Monday Night Football (don't discount!);
(3) NFL teams WANT to want him -- he'll get the benefit of the doubt;
(4) Drumbeat for Tebow's hometown Jaguars to take him, which -- based on the Jags' season a year ago -- could be Top 10, but will likely be in the teens.
(5) The Shanoff "Tebelichick Theory" that there is no way he slips past the Patriots -- if the Pats don't go so far as to trade UP through the 1st round to get him.
Once it is obvious that Bill Belichick is dying to figure out how to unleash him on the NFL -- even in a limited, Wildcattish role -- the copycat effect will send a dozen teams scrambling for him.
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay may not THINK that Tebow will be an NFL QB, but if they want their mock drafts to reflect market realities, they will have him in their 1st round soon enough.
Winner: Gil Brandt. (I actually worked with Gil briefly while I was at NFL.com in the late-90s, and he is one of the nicest guys I've ever met.)