Football careers don't always work out the way they were planned. Think back a few months to the start of the college football season and the glowing expectations for the surefire Heisman Trophy favorites, Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. ESPN pro football draft expert Todd McShay takes a look at their pro stock heading into the 2010 NFL draft, compared with how they were perceived at this time last year.
On Tebow: "There was hope that [new quarterbacks coach] Scot Loeffler would be able to tweak [Tebow's] delivery and get the ball out quicker and do some things in that regard that would allow scouts to look at him and project him a little bit better. Right now, you watch him throw and it takes so long -- for a trained eyed who knows what they are looking for from a release, his is probably twice as long as what you want it. It gives defensive backs that extra split second they need to get a jump on a ball, and that can be the difference in you being a starter and you not making it in this league sometimes.
In addition, though it's not his fault, he loses Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy [to the NFL], guys who really opened things up in this offense. And then he suffers the concussion. It has been hard to find many positives outside of the things that we already know about him -- strong, winner, intangibles, all those things.''
On McCoy: "I think he has hurt his stock a little bit. He really pressed early this season, and he tried to be more of a pro quarterback, do all the little things and be technically sound and all that. He spent some time in the offseason with Peyton Manning. I'm not saying that hurt him, but he has to find the delicate balance for Colt McCoy, between being a gunslinging, on-the-move, playmaking quarterback compared with a pro style, going-through-your-progression reads, very mechanical and robotic. We have seen him go back to his normal self since the Oklahoma game. Again, that is not going to help him a ton from the NFL perspective. And I think the more he tried to do the things he's going to be asked to do in the NFL, the less successful he was. And that didn't help his cause.''
On Bradford: "Had it gone well this year, not only would he have made more money in this year's draft but he would have entered the NFL in better position to succeed. He was tiny at the end of last year. He is tall and lean now. He was an injury waiting to happen, as we saw this year.
If Bradford goes No. 1 and has to do what [Matthew] Stafford did with the Lions this year or [Mark] Sanchez in New York, I don't know that he ever recovers from it. I think Bradford did his own due diligence [after last season], realized he needed to get bigger and stronger and all that. He did. He bulked up in the offseason and got better.''