49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 18, 2010
Tebow to Niners? Some (not me) see a fit

In his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, SI's Peter King speculates that San Francisco could be Florida quarterback Tim Tebow's landing spot on draft day. Here's what King writes:

"I think, if I had to guess right now, I'd say the best shot for Tim Tebow on draft day is San Francisco, at number 13. No proof. No solid evidence. Just this: The Niners gave a tepid endorsement to Alex Smith as their quarterback of 2010 after the season; and Mike Singletary didn't draft him; and Singletary is going to fall in love with Tebow once he meets him after the season; and Tebow is the kind of winner that Singletary has preached he wants since he took the job from Mike Nolan in mid-2008. After Singletary meets Tebow at the Scouting Combine, this is my prediction of his reaction: He'll turn to GM Scot McCloughan and say, "That's my guy. We've got to have him."

Ok, let's take this scenario and run with it. Let's say that Singletary - like everyone else that comes into contact with Tebow - is blown away by his leadership skills and tells McCloughan he has to have the Florida quarterback. The question is what McCloughan, who is the coach's boss, says to Singletary.

The first thing he might say is that while Tebow has the spirit and drive to be a great NFL quarterback, he'll need a lot - A LOT - of work before he's effective on the field. For one, Tebow's throwing motion begins with the ball practically at his knee. That must be shortened for him to effective in the face of an NFL pass rush, and that kind of transformation doesn't happen overnight.

Tebow also hails from Urban Meyer's system, and McCloughan and the 49ers know better than anyone how long it takes a Meyer quarterback to get comfortable in a pro offense. Would McCloughan really replace one Meyer-reared QB that was taken with a top pick with another Meyer-reared QB taken with a top pick?

Furthermore, the 49ers already have a project at quarterback. Everyone who has presumed the 49ers will take a quarterback early in the draft have pointed at Smith as the reason. What no one seems to consider is that the 49ers drafted a quarterback last season in Nate Davis. Does Davis' presence preclude the 49ers from drafting a quarterback? Certainly not. But he showed an awful lot of promise last offseason to be eclipsed by a first-round pick with a quirky throwing motion. In other words, the 49ers' quarterback of the future might already be on the roster.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, 2010 is shaping up to be a make or break year for the 49ers. As I wrote yesterday, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner's possible retirement would set the table for the 49ers to win the division. Singletary needs to seize that opportunity. Drafting a long-term project at pick No. 13 or even at No. 16/17 is planning for the future.

-- Matt Barrows

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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