Saturday, January 30, 2010

Senior Bowl Tebow: Todd McShay D+

Todd McShay -- who seems intent on making his could-not-be-worse evaluation of Tim Tebow his career legacy -- weighs in with a final grade for Tebow from Senior Bowl week: D+

"Overall, Senior Bowl week could not have gone worse from an on-the-field standpoint."

Two points in reaction:

(1) Couldn't it have gone worse if Tebow didn't bother to show up at all? Guarantee his learning curve improved from the five days of NFL coaching. And his pre-draft hype got even bigger (which must drive McShay batty).

(2) If it "could not have gone worse," why did McShay give him a "D+" and not a "D" or "D-" or "F." For someone so sure of himself, that feels like a hedge.

It will be most interesting the day that McShay has to reconcile his grade for Tebow with where Tebow will actually go in the draft -- which is all fans really care about: Mock drafts.

McShay thinks that Tebow is a 3rd-round talent (which, itself, is odd given how poorly McShay thinks of him -- 3rd round still makes him a Top 100 prospect), but will he slot him in the 3rd-round in his mock draft? If so, he will be so wrong as to discredit him as a draft expert. Mock drafts aren't about how draftniks grade the prospects, but their best guess where those prospects will be drafted. Two totally different things.

It's funny: I have heard McShay provide two different things -- he says he gives Tebow a "3rd-round grade," yet he also says he could be "over-drafted" as high as a Pat White-ish 44th, in the middle of the 2nd round. McShay seems to completely ignore the very real possibility the Jaguars will pull off among the biggest reaches in NFL Draft history and take Tebow 10th.

In the end, it doesn't matter how McShay grades Tebow. It matters where McShay predicts Tebow will be drafted -- and if all signs point to the Jaguars taking him in the 1st round with the 10th overall pick, will McShay reflect that in his mock or insist on his own version of reality?

And even where McShay predicts Tebow will be drafted is pretty irrelevant -- McShay could fall on his sword and get it totally wrong by putting Tebow where McShay believes he should be drafted... or McShay could cynically ignore his own analysis and put Tebow where he will be drafted.

The irony is: It's a no-win for McShay.

All that matters is where Tebow is actually drafted: The right fit, a good coaching staff, a willingness to invest in developing him while simultaneously unleashing him in unorthodox ways.

And one thing is an absolute, lock-solid, make-me-a-draftnik certainty: The round and pick Tim Tebow is ultimately drafted in won't be nearly as bad of a slot as McShay thinks it should be.

(Update: I think I figured out the appropriate analogy. Todd McShay is to Tim Tebow as Frank Grimes was to Homer Simpson on that classic episode where Homer unwittingly developed a nemesis in Grimes, who drove himself insane -- and worse -- trying to figure out why Homer was so successful despite Grimes' emphatic belief that Homer shouldn't be.)


  1. McShay peaked as a junior in high school and makes a career of guessing. I don't know one person who cares about anything he says.

  2. aahhhh... maybe he went to Alabama? He's a crimson fan!

  3. OK, I have another stupid draft question (actually, 2 questions): Is there a minimum number of years Tebow's first NFL contract has to be? For example, if he doesn't like where he's going, can he just hold out for a 2-year contract, or does he have to go w/a minimum 3 or 4-year contract? And can he insist on getting traded during his first contract? Thanks in advance.

  4. McShay seems to be going out of his way to say Tebow can't make it in the NFL. It'll be sweet justice when the JAGS do draft him #10.

  5. Mark my word,McShay will eat his words.Tim will be a great NFL quarterback and will win a Superbowl.

  6. I think one reason scouts are so wrong about Tebow is that they completely ignore his running ability. People seem to be under the impression that Tebow won't be able to run at all in the NFL.. do they even WATCH the NFL? Lots of starting QBs run a lot in the NFL. Matt Cassell ran a TON when he was in Brady's place and did very well doing it.

    So not only will Tebow's running ability make him better as a passer but people don't realize Tebow never played with a true runningback either. This will allow Tebow o run a totally different style. I think we may see the effects of this in the Senior bowl where he will likely have a better runner playing with him than any time in college.

    People also believe that Tebow can't run because no team will let their star QB run and risk injury.. but the idea that running is more dangerous than sitting in the pocket is a huge myth to me. Tebow had his worst injury sitting in the pocket.. Same with Sam Bradford.. same with Tom Brady. Look at Bret Favre. I think running Qbs actually help protect themselves by running. It puts defenses on their heels and prevents them from attacking the pocket so aggressively.

    So, bottom line is that Tebow's running is going to be HUGE in the NFL.. I think these scouts totally ignore that. Tebow will always be able to run 1000 times more than any Qb he faces because he is so strong athletic and durable. This gives his team a huge advantage over any team they face if all other things are equal.

  7. Reedrichards-That was a great comment from you. I read an article this week about a comment made by Drew Brees' former coach at Purdue, who said that sometime in the future, the NFL will be choosing more quarterbacks who can run over purely throwing quarterbacks.

    Tim Tebow had proven himself to be a winner in the best conference in college and playing against the best defensive athletes from SEC and Big 12 (Oklahoma).He was able to throw and run for touchdowns just fine.If Tim beat them in college, he will beat them in the NFL.

    Let Mcshay,Kiper,and other so called NFL experts underestimate TT.They will soon find out they are wrong.

  8. Todd mcshay is a hater he will eat his words come the combine tebow will be a great qb in the nfl bc of his intangibles he can do things other qbs cant n remember todd mcshay said jamarcus russell was a great pick for the raiders he really knows talent

  9. Reedrichards: Those are great points about running vs pocket injuries-I hadn't even thought about that.

    Last week draftnik Bucky Brooks said he thought Tebow wasn't going in the first round:

    After talking w/NFL guys this week, he's now defending Tebow:

  10. Most draft experts are projecting their big board, a la Mel Kiper. If you agree that the Jags are reaching if they draft Tebow 10th then you partially agree with McShay.

    The bottom line is the Tebow pick will have to be a luxury. You said it yourself Dan, he needs, "The right fit, a good coaching staff, a willingness to invest in developing him while simultaneously unleashing him in unorthodox ways."

    A first round pick should be ready to play, and help his team. Stafford and Sanchez weren't great but they definitely helped their team. Stafford in particular was a great help to the Lions when he was healthy. The fact that he wasn't was a testament to their poor offensive line, nothing against him.

    Tebow is a perfect third round pick. At that round his contract will be smaller, the pressure will be less, and it will be reasonable to spend time developing him on the sideline and gradually bringing him in.

    Sometimes QBs can get drafted highly and still eased in. Carson Palmer and Steve McNair are two good examples. Often times the patience isn't there. Fan bases and ownership usually isn't very patient with a top 10 pick because the team had to be pretty bad to get that pick. This is what happened with Joey Harrington, another QB who given a good coaching staff and some patience could have led to some NFL success.

  11. This comment thread resembles some sort of Tim Tebow support group wherein Tebow addicts convince themselves that everything's going to be OK.