Of all the draft coverage that I've seen on TV over the last couple months (and it's been quite a bit), I think one of the more entertaining recurring segments has been former NFL head coach and now ESPN analyst Jon Gruden sitting down with this year's top quarterback prospects.
Gruden spent one-on-one time with Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow, and had an informal film session with each guy, breaking down their strengths and weaknesses.
(Click the links above for each quarterback's segment with Gruden.)
Even though I obviously haven't been in the room when an NFL team has a pre-draft meeting with a player, I imagine the segments had a similar interview-type feel. I thought it was pretty cool to see how a head coach might interact with a prospect, and Gruden did a good job showing how teams might use game tape to ask players questions about their decision making and leadership.
In Tebow's segment, Gruden took the Florida QB out to a practice field to run him through some drills and examine first-hand how the much-hyped signal-caller has improved his footwork and throwing mechanics in recent months.
Thanks to Joe Flacco, the Ravens aren't in the market for a quarterback in next week's draft, but because there have been so many differing opinions on Tebow, I thought I would pass along Joe Hortiz's thoughts on the Heisman Trophy winner.
"Tim, it seems like he's had a rise and a fall since last year, really, up and down," the Ravens' director of college scouting said. "Last year there was a lot of buzz on him, and this year the microscope gets put on him... You find all the flaws. I know Ozzie has mentioned it before to us and probably in here - the guy comes back for his senior year and everybody picks him apart.
"Tim's a winner and a great college football player, and he does need developing as a pro, as a passer. He does need to clean up his mechanics. I think those were picked apart through the fall and even to a degree at the Senior Bowl, his struggles there. Well, he's not familiar with a pro offense. He never has played in one, so that is going to take time. What he's shown since the Senior Bowl is his dedication and passion to work and improve at it.
"They tell you when you go in there he will not fail. He'll will himself into being a good quarterback, and he's such a fine competitor and a great person, leader - his intangibles are off the charts - that it's hard to bet against him. I think through his workouts and his interviews and people looking at him now, that's why you see him kind of bumping back up after taking that swoon, the January swoon after he got to the All-Star games. He's got some work to do, there's no doubt. But, he does have a strong arm, and he is an intelligent player, and he's as tough as they come."
There seem to be a myriad of opinions on Tebow around the league, ranging from those who think he has ideal intangibles and could be a great NFL quarterback in a couple years to those who simply don't see a position for him at the next level.
It sounds like you can count Hortiz (and possibly the Ravens' front office) in the pro-Tebow camp.