Tebow steps into NFL spotlight at Senior Bowl

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow puts the move Georgia cornerback Vance Cuff for a long gain. Tebow broke Herschel Walker's career SEC rushing touchdown record of 49 with a 23-yard running TD in the second quarter. He would add another to start second half.  (Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow puts the move Georgia cornerback Vance Cuff for a long gain. Tebow broke Herschel Walker's career SEC rushing touchdown record of 49 with a 23-yard running TD in the second quarter. He would add another to start second half. (Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Florida’s Tim Tebow and the rest of the players started to arrive in Mobile for the Senior Bowl on Sunday.

“Most people think that he’s risking the most of any player coming to play this game,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “But I think it’s a brilliant move. He’s a guy that is arguably the best football player to play college football. Most NFL scouts would probably put him in the third round.”

(Sorry, but Ohio State’s Archie Griffin, the ONLY two-time Heisman Trophy winner has a much better case for the “best player ever”  tag. He just played in the pre-ESPN/daily highlights era.)

Tebow will receive a great deal of scrutiny this week as he attempts to perform in an NFL-styled offense.

“You’ve got mechanical issues,” Mayock said. “You’ve got philosophical issues, if you are going to draft him as far as what offense you are going to run? You’ve got some major issues here.”

Tebow will be battling for playing time with Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson and West Virginia’s Jarrett Brown for the South team.

Cincinnati’s Chris Pike, Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour and Oregon State’s Sean Canfield are the North quarterbacks. Here’s a link to the rosters.

Here’s a look at some other former quarterbacks who were great in college and didn’t project well as NFL signal callers:

Tebow had rushed for 123 yards and two scores and added another 103 yards passing and a touchdown before the injury. Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT

Tebow had rushed for 123 yards and two scores and added another 103 yards passing and a touchdown before the injury. Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT

Pat White

College: West Virginia

Highlight: Had a 34-8 record as a starter and won four bowl games. . . completed 64.8 percent of his passes. . . holds NCAA record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 4,480 yards.

Drafted by: Miami, second round (44th overall) in 2009.

NFL highlight: Played in 13 games as backup quarterback.

Where is he now: Still on the roster.

Matt Jones

College: Arkansas

Highlight: Completed 417 of 755 passes for 5,857 yards, 53 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. . . rushed 382 times for 2,535 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Drafted by: Jacksonville, first round (21st overall) in 2005.

NFL highlight: Appeared to be coming on when he had 65 receptions for 761 yards in 12 games during the 2008 sesaon.

Where is he now: Spent last season out of football after two drug related arrests.

Ward went on to a fine career in the NBA.

Ward went on to a fine career in the NBA.

Charlie Ward

College: Florida State

Highlight: Won the Heisman Trophy in 1993 and led the Seminoles to their first-ever national championship. Also was a basketball standout.

Drafted by: Went undrafted after stating that he wanted to be a first round pick or he’d play basketball. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA draft.

NFL highlight: None.

Where is he now: The Thomasville, Ga. native is head football coach at Westbury Christian School in Houston.

Eric Crouch

College: Nebraska

Highlight: Won the Heisman Trophy in 2001 after passing for 1,510 yards and rushing for 1,115. . . was 35-7 as a starting quarterback.

Drafted by: St. Louis, third round (95 overall) in 2002.

crouch resized

Eric Crouch while at Nebraska.

NFL highlight: Was tried as a wide receiver and safety, but never played in an NFL game. Was considered too short at 6-0 to play quarterback in the NFL.

Where is he now: Tried to make a comeback with the All-American Football League, but the operation folded.

Major Harris

College: West Virginia

Highlight: Had 7,334 total yards and became the first Division I quarterback to pass for more than 5,000 yards and rush for more than 2,000 yards in a career from 1987-89. . . led the Mounties to Fiesta Bowl appearance against Notre Dame in what was considered the national championship game after the 1988 season.

Drafted by: Los Angeles Raiders, 12th round (317 overall) in 1990.

NFL highlight: None. Never played in the league. (Aside: Before his time. Would have been a prototypical Wildcat quarterback.)

Where is he now: Was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame last year and is coaching high school football in the Pittsburgh area.

Major Harris would have been a natural Wildcat quarterback.

Major Harris would have been a natural Wildcat quarterback.

Brad Smith

College: Missouri

Highlight: Passed for 8,799 yards and 56 touchdowns. . .  rushed for 4,289 yards and 45 touchdowns. . . was the first player in NCAA history to pass for more than 8,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards.

Drafted by: New York Jets, fourth round (103 overall) in 2006.

NFL highlight: Helped Jets reach the AFC title game this season playing as their Wildcat quarterback.

Where is he now:  Is in his fourth season with the Jets.

Alex Smith

College: Utah

Highlight: Passed for 5,203 yards and completed 66.3 percent of his passes. . . rushed for 1,072 yards. . . was 21-1 as a starter.

Drafted by: San Francisco, first round (one overall) in 2005.

NFL highlight: Just completed his best season where he completed 60.5 percent of his passes.

Where is he now: Starts for the 49ers.

Anquan Boldin

College: Florida State

Highlight: Ended up playing more receiver than quarterback. . . Caught 65 passes for 1,011 yards in 2003.

Drafted by: Arizona, second round (54 overall) in 2003.

NFL highlight: Three-time Pro Bowler. Last season, against  Seattle he became the fifth fastest NFL player ever to gain 7,000 receiving yards.

Where is he now: Plays for the Cardinals.

Others considered: Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M, Chris Leak,  Florida; Tommie Frazier, Nebraska; and  Gino Torretta, Miami.

Will Tebow be an NFL quarterback? Will they have to move him to Tight End or H-Back? Did we miss any QBs on the list here?

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D3

January 24th, 2010
4:02 pm

Great article as always DOL!

Tebow will very interesting to watch in the pros. His leadership ability is unmatched, and I’m just glad he’s long gone as a Georgia fan. But the Gator fans are claiming this Brantley kid is light years better than Tebow……..oh, ok.

JA#98 – Know its way too early, but have you gotten any read on whether the Falcons will keep Jamaal Anderson, part ways, or trade him?

TXDawg

January 24th, 2010
4:20 pm

Enter your comments here

TXDawg

January 24th, 2010
4:22 pm

What is going on with the website…..geez!!

Anyway, what about that bust of a QB from Tenn, Heath Shuler. I still can’t believe he was even drafted!!

dagnabit

January 24th, 2010
5:37 pm

How about that Joke Shockley; what ever happened to him.

poopdawg

January 24th, 2010
5:46 pm

Heath Shuler singlehandely beat the dawgs , an incredible college Qb . Heard he wasn’t smart enough for the Redskins but i don’t believe that. Heart probably not in it for the skins, he cashed his check went home and started politics( us rep).

Gene Okerlund

January 24th, 2010
5:47 pm

Look, Jacksonville is going to draft Tebow with the 10th pick, whether he can play or not. They need him so all the Gator worshippers will buy enough tickes to keep the Jags from relocating to LA.

I cannot see the spread ever being a full-time NFL offense, and therefore just cannot see a spot for Tebow as a full-time QB. He is literally the perfect QB for the spread offense, but the spread offense just does not fit the NFL.

I do think he will be able to play 15-20 snaps for JAX at QB, but could also see him getting on the field at a variety of positions.

Regardless of what happens going forward, Tebow will never have to buy his own anything for the rest of his life. His legacy is cemented.

59bulldawg

January 24th, 2010
6:00 pm

Archie Griffin was overrated! Lots of players come to mind as “best college player ever” before Griffin.

Look Alive

January 24th, 2010
6:13 pm

No disrespect to archie griffin but he was not in the top 5 of college running backs. Not in any particular order but Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson. Walter Payton, Eric Dickerson, OJ Simpson, Emmit Smith, Earl Campbell, (can not think of his name but the great runner that starred for Detroit Lions), and many others were superior to Archie. He was good for his time but not one of the greats.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
6:43 pm

D3: Thanks for the kind wor.ds.

59Bulldawg and Look Alive
: Archie was a beast in college. Until somebody else wins TWO Heismans, he’s going to be the best ever in my book.

Howard

January 24th, 2010
6:47 pm

If Tebow or Colt McCoy weren’t good Christian kids who graduated with their degree, but sported tattos and had 2-3 illegitimate kids or talked like some Neanderthal or cursed every other word or had compiled a police record…you wouldn’t be having this conversation. Don’t bet against Tebow or McCoy…esp. Tebow. Oh, I didn’t hear all these naysayers when Michael Vick was at Va. Tech. And he played a heckuva lot like Tebow…yet he got his chance. And who are the NFL idiots like Mel Kiper fooling when they say Tebow and McCoy cannot throw the long ball?? Maybe they should switch religions to Druids or whatever then the MSM would like them better for the NFL (National Felons League)

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
6:51 pm

Gene Okerlund: They can’t take him with the 10th pick. They might have to take him in the second round.

Howard
: You’re doing a lot of stereotyping.

hal

January 24th, 2010
6:57 pm

h-back/tight end

Gene Okerlund

January 24th, 2010
7:01 pm

Why can’t Jax take him at 10? ?id they have the coin toss today and lose?

They still owe plenty of money to Garrard, but it would be well worth it for them to cut Garrard or just eat salary if the CBA doesn’t get resolved.

Philco

January 24th, 2010
7:04 pm

As much as I liked watching Archie Griffin play…..he was far from the best of all time, or near being the best. We know the meaning of the trophy as a popularity contest……it’s like saying that the homecoming queen is always the prettiest girl, not just the most popular…

Gene Okerlund

January 24th, 2010
7:09 pm

Also, Mr. Ledbetter, am I crazy for thinking that the Falcons should go Offensive Tackle with their first pick? I know the defense needs some work, but I really like the way Sidbury, Biermann, Grimes, Owens and DeCoud competed the last month.

Matt Ryan is obviously our most important asset and needs to be given a great offensive line. Baker needs to move to right tackle. If Bulaga or the kid from USC is there, Atlanta should take them.

Also, can we get an update on the progress of Harry Douglas? He will be integral for the Falcons to regain their explosiveness on offense. He also hides a lot of Jenkins’ deficiencies.

Pecan

January 24th, 2010
7:15 pm

The number of Heismans means nothing. Who did ESPN say were the best a year or two ago? Tebow was a great college player but not in the top 5, I believe. There was some guy at Georgia in the early 80s who was a pretty good running back. Too bad he didn’t stay 4 years. He could have easily had two, or three, or four Heismans.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
7:32 pm

I’m sticking to my guns with the GREAT ARCHIE GRIFFIN. He ran between the tackles better than anybody for his size. Had a decent 7-year pro career and he’s got TWO HEISMANS!

GO: Can’t take him at 10. There will be much better players available at 10. Tebow will STILL be there when they pick in the second and perhaps the third round. Will ask about Harry D. when I see Coach Smith down at the Senior Bowl tomorrow. He’s been a little tight with the medical info lately. This draft is shaping up to be better player for defensive players. Falcons defense was ranked 21st overall and 28 against the pass. Therefore it’s reasonable to conclude they need DEFENSE. I think they might be close enough in their rebuilding to pick the old “best player available/value” pick and not a “system specific/need” pick. Some will contend that they really should have taken CB Vontae Davis last season. He’s made several all-rookie teams.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
7:50 pm

RUSS GATA

January 24th, 2010
7:50 pm

Orlando,
Archie Griffin propably would not be mentioned as the best college player in any ESPN poll out side of Ohio. The Big Ten machine had clout-in the 1970’s. They even tried to tout some o lineman Hicks as a Heisman candidate.
Herschell Walker had a regular season record of 32-1
3 SEC championships
1 National Championship as he took a previous 6-5 team to 12-0 at age 18.
One more year and people would still be chasing his yardage record.

DawgNole

January 24th, 2010
7:54 pm

Can’t believe you didn’t mention Danny Wuerffel–a gator Heisman winner who beat Peyton Manning three straight years head to head in college, but never amounted to crap as a pro.

Since 1980....

January 24th, 2010
7:58 pm

Listen, I’m a huge UGA fan but I think Tebow is the greatest college football player ever. When you sum the intangibles….he win’s in a landslide. He must go in the first round. I guaranntee he will make em pay like Randy Moss did.

D-Led looks like you captured most of the notable’s….I would throw in Danny Weurfful.

I kinda agree with the majority on Archie….not top 5…maybe top 10.

dvdvdv

January 24th, 2010
7:59 pm

jason white of oklahoma

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
8:07 pm

John Hicks, Cleveland John Hay High. Third pick in the 1984 draft.

Griffin: 4 Roses Bowls. Buckeyes were 40-5-1 during Griffin era. Went over 100 yards in an NCAA record 31 straight games, he won TWO Heismans.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
8:11 pm

Since 1980 and dvdvdv: Like that Wuerffel and Jason White.

NRBQ

January 24th, 2010
8:14 pm

Are you from Ohio, D.Led?

No disrespect intended, but are you old enough to have watched Griffin’s career at OSU?

He won his trophies due to the prevalent northeast bias, and lack of competition.

The only remarkable aspect of his NFL career was that he managed to hang around that long.

As a long-time football fan who remembers Griffin’s football career well, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone seriously name him the best ever.

Eman

January 24th, 2010
8:23 pm

Tim is not an NFL QB. He has slim chance to play at that position. He needs to be a LB or TE like a Chris Cooley type.

Derrick

January 24th, 2010
8:32 pm

yes you did miss a few. ryan leaf , akili smith, and danny wueffrel. the jury is still out on brady quinn though.

Look Alive

January 24th, 2010
8:33 pm

Archie Griffin was good but not great. Heisman trophies don’t make you the best football player only the most popular with most people that should not have a vote. I watched Archie play and he was not up to par with the previously mentioned greats not to overlook Jim Brown and Ernie Davis.. He was undersized and did not have great speed but he did have a good offensive line.. Archie Manning and Archie Bunker were more impressive. Mr O I enjoy your columns and respect you so please don’t lose your credibility by pursuing this Archie Griffin farce.. Are you just putting us on? I hope so.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
8:35 pm

NRBQ: Yes, I got to see the “Great” Archie Griffin as a youngster growing up in Ohio. I’m from Missouri and watched the great Dan Devine teams there before moving to Ohio.

Davis Mann

January 24th, 2010
8:36 pm

JOE HAMILTON?

Davis Mann

January 24th, 2010
8:38 pm

NRBQ

January 24th, 2010
8:41 pm

That explains it, O.

BTW, his first name isn’t Great.

Kennesaw Dawg

January 24th, 2010
9:11 pm

What about David Greene?

DawgNole

January 24th, 2010
9:14 pm

Interesting that “DawgNole” is the first one who called out Wuerffel, which you ignored while citing “Since 1980″ and “dvdvdv” for doing the same thing later.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
9:17 pm

Kennesaw Dawg: David Greene was an accurate college passer.Never thought he’d be starring on Sundays. Hamilton was too short. Both were magical college QBs.

Slick Willard: There will be no dissing of D3 here.

Keeping It Real

January 24th, 2010
9:18 pm

Hey Gene Okerlund…. You living in fantasy land or smoking something if you think Jacksonville is gonna waste millions of dollars on a QB who is nothing more than a Wildcat/ Tight End. That would be foolish on Jacksonville’s behalf. Somebody will feel sorry for him take a chance drafting him. I see him going in the 2nd or 3rd round. Coach Urban’s QB have always been BUST in the NFL for instance… Alex Smith, Chris Leak and now Tebow… Just keeping it real

Keeping It Real

January 24th, 2010
9:27 pm

Hey Howard… Mick Vick had BLAZING speed and can run away from defenders, Tebow cant. He is not gonna be able to use his physical strenght to run over defenders like he did in college. Welcome to the Big Boy League.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
9:40 pm

My bad DawgNole We’ve got some blog love for you too.

Look Alive

January 24th, 2010
9:42 pm

Mr O Not to belabor the point but Barry Sanders and Gayle Sayers are two more of many that were better than Archie. Childhood memories tend to be exaggerated so that explains your fondness for Mr Griffin. I am 69 years old and not senile so I have a more objective view of the players. Some old timers remember players of their youth as special and they were at the time( not that you are an old timer) Some basketball greats from the 50,s and 60’s would not be superstars in todays NBA. I’m speaking of Mr Bill from the Celtics that was blocking shots from much shorter white guys. He could play now but would not be a big star..He could not handle Wilt and no way could he stop today’s stars. He was great for his time but that has past. get fired up

Georgia Peach

January 24th, 2010
9:48 pm

Howard, Tebow’s parents shopped him around to high schools and didnt live in the district where he ended up being purchased…nothing “Christian” about it.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 24th, 2010
10:13 pm

Mr. Look Alive: Enjoyed watching Sanders at Okie State. Sayers was special, too. But how many Heisman do they have? Sanders and Sayers, 1. Griffin 2.

Mike Lum

January 24th, 2010
10:20 pm

Mr. Ledbetter, I’m an old guy who saw Archie in college, too. I’m with the majority on this one…Griffin ranks far behind MANY running backs. Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders, Bo…all were better college rushers. Tebow and Hershel were the best two college players I ever saw.

[...] Check Out DOL’s New Blog on Tim Tebow [...]

Look Alive

January 24th, 2010
10:49 pm

Mr O H. Walker has 3 Look Alive Awards which are more credible than Archie G’s Heisman awards which are lacking in crediblity. Heisman awards do not always translate into the best player but Look Alive awards are the real deal. Good to talk to you.

Sam

January 24th, 2010
11:25 pm

Will Tebow’s leadership abilities translate when he is dealing with 30 year old men?

TheManOfAction

January 24th, 2010
11:50 pm

D.Led, you obviously have some sentimental bias for Archie Griffin, or you are just playing devil’s advocate. You know gosh darn well that Archie Griffin was not a better player than Herschel Walker, Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Jim Brown, Bo Jackson, I could go on, but I digress. You Ohio people are delusional. I bet you think that Ohio State could win the SEC. The Heisman Trophy is a beauty pageant, no one remembers who beat out Marshall Faulk for Heisman without looking it up on Google. Tim Tebow will be a better pro quarterback that anyone is giving him credit for. The guy is a winner, and winners will win on every level.

David Granger

January 24th, 2010
11:59 pm

Hard to say about Tebow.
To a great extent, the NFL drafts QB’s more on “potential” than players at any other position. Stafford, for example, was drafted primarily because he has the strongest arm to come along since Elway. His performance at Georgia…while good…was not nearly as impressive as many other college QB’s.
Tebow is a good player, an outstanding leader, and a winner…and an NFL team should be able to find a place for a player like that. I don’t think he’s going to be seen as a “franchise QB” kinda player. He doesn’t have the laser arm, and you can’t develop that. It’s either something you’re born with, or else you never have it.
He is a pretty good passer. He throws passes that…though they may flutter a bit sometimes…are VERY accurate, and quite “catchable”. I’m not sure that just good accuracy is enough in the NFL, though. His actual throwing mechanics…reaching way down low and delivering the ball with a long, sweeping motion…is a major negative, and I don’t think it can be easily corrected.
Tim’s best option would probably be with a team that could use him as a power running back in red-zone situations. He’s a good powerful runner (and should also be a good blocker, as well), plus you never know when he’s going to pull that little “stop and pop” jump pass. One reason Florida has been such a good offensive team during his tenure was that you had to cover literally EVERYTHING…no telling what kinda play they might run. I think Tebow would be a very strong weapon on short yardage situations.
I think that…all things considered…Tim would be a valuable member of an NFL team. But I don’t think he’ll be a real high draft pick.

secondguesser

January 25th, 2010
12:08 am

Hey, Mr. “Keeping it Real”, you might be right on Tim but that remains to be seen. Real is 18 out of 21. Real is a couple of NC’s and a He15man! That’s what is REAL.

Harold Banks

January 25th, 2010
12:22 am

Archie Griffin was a good college player but not the best of All-Time. He won the awards before the final games of the season. One season he was not better than the runner-up Anthony Davis of USC whom single handedly destroyed Notre Dame but the voters had turn in their ballots before that game. It was after that mishap that the committee changed the rules and wait for all regular season games are played before requiring votes. He was a very average NFL player. Definitely not a stand-out career.

Gino Toretta of Miami comes to mind. Sorry if I misspelled his name.