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Daily Roundtable - Tebow, McCoy, or Bradford?
Posted May 29, 2009

Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, or Colt McCoy. Which one would you take if you take for this year if you were starting a college team. It's the Friday topic in the CFN Daily Roundtable Discussion.

CFN Daily Roundtables

May 29

Tebow, McCoy, or Bradford ... which one do you take?

- May 18 No BCS, No Weis?
- May 19 Does 2008 Utah have a beef?
- May 20 When should preseason polls come out?
- May 21 Is Tebow the best QB ever?

- May 22 2009's most interesting teams 
- May 25 Heisman race sleepers 
- May 26 Chizik, Kiffin or Mullen? 
- May 27 Should the Pac 10 expand? If so, then what two teams should be added? 
- May 28 Should the Big Ten expand? If so, then what team should be added?

Over the next several weeks, as part of the CFN 2009 Preview, we'll examine some of the key questions going into the year with a daily discussion of the big topics.

Pete Fiutak, CFN 

Q: Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow ... which quarterback would you take to start your college team this year.

If I'm building a college team, not a pro team, from scratch, I'm taking Tebow by a narrow margin over McCoy. I love McCoy and his ability to do a little bit of everything at a high level, include coming up with tremendous comebacks. But Tebow has done it already.

The 2006 Gators might have been Chris Leak's team, but Tebow set a tone and was a sparkplug every time he came in. He gave the offense a toughness it didn't have from any of the running backs. Of course, the 20/20 Heisman run in 2007, coming up with a statistical season no one had ever done before doesn't hurt, but it was last year's run to the national title that sells it for me. Sort of like an elite basketball player taking over in crunch time, Tebow took the offense and the team on his shoulders, and his legs, in the fourth quarter against Alabama to win the SEC title, and he was fantastic when he had to be in the second half to beat Oklahoma for the national title. He might not be the prettiest of passers, but he was throwing darts against the Tide and he's been among the most efficient quarterbacks in the game over the last two years.

Notice I didn't mention anything about leadership. While Tebow gets praised for his screamy, in-your-face style, he doesn't command more respect from his team that McCoy does from his. Tebow doesn't have a better command of an offense than Bradford does of his. All three have the intangibles, but Tebow has produced the big wins at the highest level while McCoy hasn't won a Big 12 title and Bradford hasn't won a BCS game.

Now, the question for next year will be which one goes first in the NFL Draft. Tebow will be third man in that race, while Bradford will probably be a top five pick and McCoy in the top 20. If I'm starting an NFL team to build around, I'm going with Bradford, but will take any of the three. Tebow will be fine at the next level, while McCoy will be a franchise player to build around. I like Bradford's decision-making and good deep arm. If Mark Sanchez could go No. 5 overall, Bradford might be the No. 1 draft pick.

Richard Cirminiello, CFN

Q: Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow ... which quarterback would you take to start your college team this year?

Sure, why not just ask which of my children I’d most want to have to start a family? First, the most obvious statement, which is that you can’t go wrong with any of these three quarterbacks. All of them have the tools, physical and otherwise, necessary to get a program to where it needs to be. It’s all a matter of taste.

Personally, if I’m starting a pro team, I take McCoy. I like everything about him, from his accuracy as a passer and good feet outside the pocket to his coolness late in games. For a college program, however, it’d be hard to pass on Tebow, one of the all-time tour de force personalities in the sport’s history. No, he’s not the most complete quarterback around, but when you hand him the ball, you know that he’ll carry it through a brick wall if the end zone is just beyond it. And he’s going to inspire about 10 other guys to follow him through. Plain and simple, he’s a winner and an epic leader, two of the qualities every coach craves in his quarterback. If the game is on the line, Tebow is the kind of player you want with the ball in his hands. He’s shown no signs of being a problem away from the field, and as far as a face for the program, you can’t do much better. Plus, he’s played in a ton of big games and won a championship, which McCoy and Bradford have yet to experience.

Matthew Zemek, CFN

Q: Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow ... which quarterback would you take to start your college team this year?

Not knowing if I could replicate the systemic creativity or speed that exist at Florida, I'd take McCoy. "Kid Colt" owns the blood-and-guts gallantry Tebow possesses, but can perform in a more traditional offense and win the shootouts Tebow didn't have to win in his 2008 season. Tebow and also Bradford have hardly any deficiencies as college quarterbacks, but McCoy seems to offer even more pluses.

Jon Miller, Publisher,

Q: Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow ... which quarterback would you take to start your college team this year?

A: If I were drafting a player I the 2010 NFL draft, I think that McCoy would be the first player I would pick.  But that isn’t the question that was asked, was it?

In this day and age of spread offenses being the vogue, I like a guy that can hurt you with his legs as well as his arms, and Tebow is clearly the winner in that category.  All of these players have proven to be great leaders, with Tebow being at the top of that list.  Then again, I think you can say that the gaudy completion percentage numbers that McCoy and Bradford put up last year are also a product of offenses that basically incorporate the short passing game as a supplement to a running game. 

Another interesting thing about these three players is they all seem to be really good people, too.  I am not sure that you are going to go wrong.  But if I am starting from the ground up, I take Tebow, whom I also think will be the least productive NFL quarterback of the trio.

Hunter Ansley, Publisher,

Q: Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow ... which quarterback would you take to start your college team this year?

A: Tebow, and it's not even close.

This is a guy who might be one championship away from becoming the greatest college football player of all time.  He's certainly the best leader, and that's what you want out of a quarterback.  You want a guy who put the season on his shoulders and violently delivered on his promise.  You want a guy who wants the ball in his hands when it's tough. And you want a guy who can drive the entire team to paydirt in the national championship game.

I love this stat, so I'll throw it out there for probably the tenth time.  In passes of over 15 yards through the air, Tebow had a higher completion percentage, more yards per attempt, and more touchdowns than Sam Bradford.  More importantly, he beat him head-to-head.  He's improved as a passer every year, and he's done it while facing the best defenses in college football with a questionable rushing game at times.  Tebow makes his team better, and I honestly think that the other QBs are made better by their teams, Bradford more so than McCoy.

I won't go too far into the hollow arguments against his NFL Draft prospects, but he'll succeed there too.  However, the question is about starting a college team, and there's just no other way to go.  His mobility is on a completely different level than Bradford or McCoy, and there is no one in the country I'd rather have leading my team at crunch time.  There's a different confidence about Tebow that can't be measured by stopwatches or scouts' film.  You just can't ever count Florida out with him at the helm.