Before the pageantry that was the Heisman Trophy presentation has a chance to slip everyone's mind, it might be a good idea to look at the three candidates from an NFL perspective. Might one of them be the rare exception to the "Win the Heisman, be worthless in the NFL" trend?
Tim Tebow: I think most people see Tebow as something other than a quarterback in the NFL, and if he is a quarterback, he's not one that's going in the first couple of rounds. His release is painfully slow. And if he does change positions, given his dimensions and abilities, he's probably looking at being a tight end. And with that transition period, Tebow's not likely to be taken in the first couple of rounds at that position, either.
Of course, all this means he's likely to be in school for another year, where the "rah-rah, let's go get 'em, team!" style plays a little better. But you never know. After last night, he could get a call from Andy Reid saying, "We're looking for someone to run that Tim Tebow play, and De'Sean Jackson clearly isn't that guy." Scouts are also said to be enamored by the fact that he wears Crocs.
Sam Bradford: He could be the first quarterback taken in the draft if he decides to come out. He's got the size, accuracy and ability to make the quick decisions that you're looking for. He's drawn some comparisons to Tom Brady, and that's a nice compliment and all, but it's also insane when applied to anyone who's never played a down in the NFL.
He's not a lock to go, but unless he has a couple of limbs severed in the championship game against Florida, I'd say there's not much reason for him to stay in school. It's not a deep quarterback class, and if he's projected as a top-15 guy (and he likely would be), the money would be right for leaving. Especially if there's some kind of rookie wage scale in 2010, which is entirely possible.
The downside for Bradford: He's a quarterback who won the Heisman. That's never good.
Colt McCoy: He's on record as saying he'd like to be a four-year starter at Texas, and I don't think the feedback he'll get from NFL people will change his mind and make him enter the draft. There are questions about his arm strength. And while I feel like scouts pay way too much attention to arm strength, they still do. And if that's a question mark, you're not going to be a first-rounder.
Mel Kiper doesn't have McCoy listed in his top-five junior quarterbacks, and in a weak quarterback class, that's not good, even if it's early. McCoy would probably have to blow people away at the combine to be a first- or second-round pick.
Update: Coincidentally, Dr. Saturday asks why Tebow can't make it as an NFL quarterback.