Collin Klein is holding out hope that he can play quarterback in the NFL. (Dave Martin/AP)
The similarities between Collin Klein and Tim Tebow are quite obvious. Klein was a Heisman finalist, a tremendous dual-threat QB at Kansas State, the prototypical "winner" who outperformed his skill set.
But a better comparison for Klein, especially in relation to this draft, is Denard Robinson. When Klein lands with an NFL team -- and he will, whether he's drafted or signed as a free agent later -- the challenge will be the same: find some way to get this playmaker on the field.
The most glaring difference between Klein and Robinson is that the latter has given up on the possibility of playing quarterback, and that's not the case for Klein. He said at the NFL combine that he was "not considering anything else" beside a future playing quarterback until it became 100 percent apparent that he had no shot to do so.
Klein reiterated that stance recently to The Kansas City Star:
"In my heart, I know I can do it," Klein said. "That’s the position I love to play. Until that door closes, I’m going to walk through it. I have the work ethic and all the physical tools to do it. I was very fortunate to have good coaches at K-State. I feel very well equipped."
Unfortunately, I'm not sure caving and suddenly running through drills at tight end would have helped Klein all that much in the past couple of months. Kansas State briefly moved him to wide receiver during his freshman year, so his athleticism is hard to question; and at 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, Klein has the potential to add bulk and slot in at tight end eventually.
But, again, the best landing spot for him will be on a team that's willing to chuck convention to the side. Tebow's flop job in New York might work against Klein there, but the continued evolution of NFL offenses to more wide-open looks certainly plays to his favor.
Any team that completely writes off a third-place Heisman finisher simply because he has a funky throwing motion is doing itself a disservice. Where's the harm in taking a seventh-round flier on a unique athlete with multi-position potential?
Klein may find all those quarterbacking doors slammed once he's drafted -- if a team selects him, then tells him they want to try him out at a different position, he will have little recourse but to give it a shot. Until then, though, I'm not going to fault him for sticking to his guns and asking NFL teams to use their imaginations.
Players as intriguing as Klein or Robinson rarely roll around. When they do NFL teams tend to find a place for them, one way or another.