Collin Klein put together a strong senior season for the Kansas State Wildcats, capping a very impressive career in Manhattan, Kansas, with a trip to New York City as Heisman Trophy finalist. Despite all of that success, however, Klein is likely to get snubbed by the Senior Bowl and he can thank Tim Tebow for it.
Klein has been impressive for K-State as the leading passer and rusher for the offense. His production has come through gutting out tough yards with a physical running style and breaking big plays with his deceptive speed once he gets into the open field. Up until this season, he wasn’t considered much of a passer, but he’s made great strides in his accuracy this season and it paid off.
However, the mechanics and profile make for an easy comparison to Tebow when he starred with the Florida Gators. Both are running quarterbacks with average arms and unorthodox deliveries that give scouts questions about how well they can make the transition to the NFL in addition to strong faith that they will publicly share at every opportunity.
In fact, the only discernible difference between the college career’s of Klein and Tebow is that Tebow got the bonus of getting labeled a “winner.” Being a part of two national championships and being the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy will do that. While Klein has won plenty of games for Kansas State and is undoubtedly cut from the same “winners” cloth as Tebow, he has failed to bring home the biggest prizes for the Wildcats, so he won’t get the benefit of the doubt.
Without that “intangibles” tag, many scouts may not be willing to take a chance on Klein like they did with Tebow. Looking at the former Gators’ starting QB in the NFL, his career has been tumultuous, to say the least. He caused a coups with the Denver Broncos with his fans causing such a stir that Kyle Orton was driven to the bench to get Tebow into the starting lineup.
While Tebow led the Broncos to an 8-8 finish, the AFC West division title and a home playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, he created a circus-like atmosphere around the team that was a distraction to some and an annoyance to others. On top of that, the Broncos had to completely revamp their offensive gameplans to accommodate Tebow’s skill-set.
It was a burden that the team wasn’t interested in handling for another season and they traded Tebow to the New York Jets during the offseason. Since joining Gang Green, Tebow has wasted away on the bench, coming in sparingly for wildcat-packages that go nowhere and as a personal protector on punt team. Whether it’s due to the Jets’ coaching staff woefully misusing Tebow or the former Gator great getting figured out by defenses, Tebow-mania has lost its steam.
So after the circus of Tebow has spiraled to a grinding halt in New York City, how willing are teams to take on a similar player in Collin Klein? While Klein likely wouldn’t be near the distraction that Tebow has been, he has the same kind of skill set which the NFL seems unable to work with. Or at least the NFL scouts, who pick the Senior Bowl teams, don’t seem interested in it.
Collin Klein has been one of the best college football players in the country during his career with Kansas State, but none of that production is impressing the scouts at the next level. Thanks a lot, Tebow.