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Original Issue

Thrown Upward

After revamping his mechanics, Tim Tebow is suddenly a hot draft prospect

The year 2010 is only three months old, but in that span Tim Tebow has already lived two lives. In January, after the Florida quarterback ended his college career with a dreadful 8-for-12, 50-yard day (with two fumbles) at the Senior Bowl, NFL scouts were rightfully ignoring the '07 Heisman Trophy winner's 66% career passing percentage and otherworldly 88--16 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Instead they were homing in on his slow and looping throwing motion, and accordingly ranking him as low as a mid-third-round pick in the NFL draft (April 22--24).

Back in Gainesville, Tebow took the scouts' reservations to heart. He spent much of February and March retooling his mechanics to eliminate his windup and produce a quicker release. Has he succeeded? Evidently. At a workout for about 75 NFL scouts and coaches at Florida's pro day on March 17, Tebow saw heads turn along with his prospects. Suddenly he had moved way up—maybe all the way to the bottom of the first round.

Or maybe even higher. If the Eagles trade Donovan McNabb before the draft (Philly could settle for the 39th or 41st pick for McNabb, from Oakland or Buffalo, respectively), don't be surprised if Philadelphia coach Andy Reid uses the 24th pick on Tebow. It'd be an odd landing spot because the Eagles have hot prospect Kevin Kolb as a starter-in-waiting, as well as Michael Vick. But Reid has always loved having a developmental quarterback on his roster, and such smart QB coaches as Mike Holmgren—who mentored Reid in Green Bay in the 1990s—and Mike Shanahan came away impressed after meeting with Tebow and working him out.

And if Tebow doesn't land in Philadelphia? The Redskins (37), Browns (38), Bills (41) and Patriots (44) like Tebow too. Add Seattle (sixth, 14th, 60th) to that list. The Seahawks might dangle one or more of their slots as trade ammo and position themselves to grab Tebow.

"I'm jacked up, wherever I'm headed," Tebow said last week. "Changing my motion, and the feedback I've gotten from NFL people, has given me all the hope in the world that I'm going to be a starting NFL quarterback."



SPRING FLING At pro day (right), Tebow won plaudits for his quicker, more compact release.



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