It was announced today that Tim Tebow will not be throwing at the NFL Scouting Combine this week. This puts Tebow in the same category as Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy and Dan LeFevour, who also will not throw in Indianapolis.
Reports indicate that Tebow is working hard on his throwing motion and will display his new and improved mechanics at his Pro Day event. Some are starting to beat the Tebow drum a little louder now with his attempt to change his mechanics. If Tebow does show an improvement in his throwing motion, we can be sure that some folks in the media will be starting with the “1st round pick” talk again. After a poor Senior Bowl performance, most got off the Tebow bandwagon and actually weren’t afraid to say something negative about one of the most respected players in college football history.
If Tebow does show improvement in his throwing motion, my hope is that people stay grounded when evaluating his draft stock. Mechanics are extremely hard for a quarterback to change. Many forget that Florida brought in a QB specialist before the 2009 season to work with Tebow and help his mechanics. It was clear that the work with the specialist didn’t do anything to change his throwing motion as it was exactly the same as before.
Tebow continued to work on his throwing motion while at the Senior Bowl. If you watched him in quarterback drills or warm ups, his throws were slow and deliberate, but his mechanics were better. Watching that even had me saying, “maybe he’s gonna get it.” The issue came in team drills and the actual game. When Tebow was under any type of pressure, he wasn’t able to think about his throwing motion and just had to get the ball out. During those times, the terrible mechanics returned. This was even more apparent during the game where his elongated throwing motion led to a fumble.
It’s also important to remember that throwing at a pro day event isn’t a true indication of whether or not he’s changed his mechanics. Think about it. Tebow will be throwing on the practice field he’s used for the past four years. He’ll be throwing to his wide receivers that he already has chemistry with. There’s also no set amount of throws that he has to make. The pro day events are run entirely by the hosting team, so Tebow can throw as much, or as little as he wants.
The fact of the matter is, it’s a good sign that Tebow is working on his mechanics. He knows it’s an issue and he wants to improve it. However, teams aren’t going to draft a player that has so much work to do in the first round. First round picks are usually reserved for NFL ready players that can make an immediate impact on their team. If Tebow does show improvement with his mechanics, I think that will probably lock him into a 2nd round selection on draft day. Members of the media and Tebow supporters will probably say that he should be considered as a first round pick with any improvement to his mechanics, but I don’t think NFL scouts will agree. Game tape is the most important evaluation tool when preparing for the NFL draft and the tape doesn’t lie. Workouts help, but they’re only a small piece of the puzzle.