Todd McShay offers his last word on Tim Tebow:
"I still would not draft him in the first two rounds. It’s a philosophical approach I have."
McShay has banked his young career on being bearish on Tebow's draft prospects. But he wants to have it both ways, because McShay says he personally grades Tebow as a 3rd-rounder, but also wouldn't be surprised to see him taken in the 2nd round.
My main gripe with McShay's analysis is that he frames his evaluation of Tebow on McShay's own personal "philosophical approach."
I'm not sure that's relevant to the discussion at hand. Shouldn't he be thinking about Tebow's draft prospects from the perspective of each team's particular set of needs and interests?
(For example: The Vikings don't need a QB to contribute in 2010, possibly even 2011. But they do need to start developing a QB for beyond that. If they like Tebow's potential as an eventual starter, why wouldn't he at least be in the realm of possibility for them to pick? Teams would never draft a QB based on his Year 1 potential, rather than his Year 3-10 potential. See below.)
At some point, McShay stopped dumping on Tebow because the blowback was undermining McShay's credibility. He remains bearish, and it has earned him a lot of attention.
This is a slippery slope for any sports pundit to offer up, but I'd be curious if McShay would be willing to be a year's salary against Tim Tebow going in the 1st round.
One point I've been trying to make over the past few weeks is that the drafnik's personal grade (or "philosophy") is irrelevant to the question of where a player is going to get picked.
Just because McShay wouldn't take Tebow in the 1st round doesn't mean that there isn't a team (or multiple teams) who wouldn't take Tebow in the 1st round.
There is another weird logical inconsistency in McShay's evaluation:
He contends that 1st-round picks should be able to contribute right away. Even QBs? So McShay would not have taken Steve McNair. Or Eli Manning. Or Phil Rivers. Or Carson Palmer. Or Aaron Rodgers. Or any number of QBs that -- by the very nature of their position -- can't contribute right away.
Now, if McShay said that he would never take a QB in the 1st round, I'd actually understand that "philosophy."
But if he is spending seemingly half his air time doubting Tebow, he is spending the other half of it lauding Sam Bradford as the top talent in the draft. Yet even Sam Bradford is ready to step in and perform at a playoff-QB level in the NFL now.
It's all just an odd inconsistency in McShay's logic, which makes me think that his bearish -- yet constantly hedging -- opinion of Tebow is at least as much about McShay marketing as analysis.
If this really is McShay's last public comments about Tebow until the draft, hopefully this is my last post about McShay until the draft, too....