The quarterback position has evolved in the past decade, and coaches are adapting to their strengths. That begs the question, would Tim Tebow succeed in today’s NFL?
Tim Tebow’s NFL career didn’t work out, but The Dan Patrick raised the question whether the former Heisman winner at Florida would have had a different career if he was coming out today.
Quarterback play is evolving, there’s no doubt about it. Gone are the days where quarterbacks have to reach a certain height and weight threshold (John Dorsey proved that by drafting Baker Mayfield first overall in 2018). Quarterbacks are better athletes now too, and the threat of getting out of the pocket and running is much more prevalent.
Back in 2010, the quarterback position was all about certain thresholds and traits. A quarterback at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds was considered prototype, and he needed to have a good arm and be able to run an “NFL” style offense, which meant having the ability to take snaps under center and work through three, five, and seven-step drops. That year, Tebow went 25th overall to the Denver Broncos in the NFL Draft.
There were many concerns about Tebow’s game coming out of college. For one, he took most of his snaps in the shotgun, which concerned teams. Second, many believed his success was schemed for him at Florida where he had plenty of talent around him, and teams didn’t believe he could transition to a traditional scheme. Finally, his success as a runner prompted teams to believe he would be better suited to play fullback or tight end.
Tebow did find a little bit of success in his time in the league, helping lead the Broncos to a division title and a Wild Card Weekend victory over the Steelers. However, he never really had another chance to lead an NFL team.
Looking at today’s NFL, things might fare a little better for Tebow. In his interview with Dan Patrick, Tebow mentioned the read option and the screen game as two things NFL offenses have installed this decade. Those two factors alone would help Tebow get a rhythm going in an offense, especially with playmakers on the perimeter. Another thing NFL teams do is give quarterbacks a good first read to take advantage of, along with half-field reads where the quarterback has to read one defender’s movement and throw to one of two receivers.
So yes, the quick passing game, along with a dash of the read option, could give Tebow a better chance to succeed. But, there are parts to Tebow’s game that suggest he probably still wouldn’t be an NFL starter.
The biggest deficiency in Tebow’s skill-set was his elongated delivery. The NFL has a small margin for error when it comes to quarterback play. Reading the defense, anticipating a window and making the throw all needs to happen in an instant. With a longer delivery, Tebow needed to anticipate windows at an elite level, which was not a strength.
Also, at some point, despite all the ways you can help him, Tebow would eventually have to make tight window throws with good accuracy and read a full field. Tebow did not have the greatest accuracy in college and struggled on intermediate throws. It’s similar to going through progressions and reading a defense. At some point, teams will key in on the things that someone does well, and make things difficult for him. Complicated zones and blitzes would fluster Tebow.
So, what’s the final verdict? Yes, Tebow would have a better chance to succeed in today’s NFL. But, ultimately, quarterbacks need certain traits to succeed, and Tebow doesn’t excel in key areas to be a franchise quarterback.
The Dan Patrick Show airs daily at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET on AT&T AUDIENCE Network which can be found on DIRECTV Ch. 239.