"He can’t play quarterback in the NFL, I’m convinced of it."
But, Todd: Tell us how you really feel. Can't put it any more clearly than that. As I've said before: It must drive McShay bonkers to get asked about Tebow's potential as an NFL QB when McShay is so clearly convinced Tebow has no potential as an NFL QB.
Because if a team is willing to take Tebow in the 1st round -- or even the 2nd round -- as a QB, that says less about the team doing the drafting than it does about about McShay's authority on the issue. And without authority, draftniks have... well, not much.
It IS a stretch to think that someone whose skills are so devalued by scouts -- at the game's most important position, no less -- could go in the 1st round of the NFL Draft... and, in my opinion, the Top 10. (You might say I'm convinced of it.)
But that's the weird Tebow exceptionalism at work. He is unlike any prospect -- QB or otherwise -- that has ever come through the NFL Draft, certainly at QB.
It's the same thing that has scouts -- virtually every one (even the anonymous ones) except McShay -- caveating all of their bearish analysis with "But I wouldn't bet against him."
Scouts and draftniks simply don't have the track record of accurately projecting NFL QBs to really make end-all-be-all pronouncements (particularly when you factor in how much context has to do with success).
I'm not saying that Tebow will be a starting QB in the NFL for 10 years -- few QBs are, whether they are taken at the top of the 1st round or at the end of the entire draft. Prospects with phenomenal NFL-ready tools have washed out; prospects with NFL-ready tools have slipped to the late rounds.
Prospects with some tools have been coached up (Matt Cassel), and some have been in terrible coaching situations and never reached their potential.
But I go back to that quote from Gene Smith from this morning: Tebow is willing to work and study as hard as any QB ever to get better. Provided he has the right coaching (and that's no guarantee), you can't say he won't have given himself the best shot possible.
But I'm willing to give him a few years to develop -- in the meantime, I hope that the team that drafts him is willing to deploy him innovatively in the short term. He can make a contribution immediately, while maintaining his potential to develop into an NFL quarterback.
I'm convinced of it.