Aged like fine wine
How former Oklahoma State QB is using his "experience" to gain an edge and boost his draft stock
On April 26, two of the most touted quarterback prospects in the history of the NFL Draft will be taken first and second overall; that much is inevitable. Andrew Luck is the most pro-ready quarterback since the great John Elway began his hall of fame career in the NFL, and Robert Griffin III is as dynamic a quarterback as one will ever find, mixing Olympic track-like speed and quickness with an amazing knack for throwing the deep ball with laser-like precision. Since the first two spots in the draft are sewn up, the question now remains, who comes after?
According to some of the NFL's most respected analysts, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., the next spot for a quarterback looks to be given to Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, a converted wide receiver with a tremendous upside but who lacks experience, with only 20 total starts in his career under center. Although Tannehill shows potential, I am not convinced that he is the next best option for a quarterback behind Luck and RG3. No, that belongs to the Oklahoma State University quarterback, 28-year-old Brandon Weeden.
It was not always about football for the 6'4" gunslinger from Edmond, Oklahoma. After graduating from high school, Weeden was drafted in the second round by the New York Yankees to play baseball. Then 18 years old, Weeden took his 97 miles per hour fastball and bounced around the Minor League until after the 2006 season, when he decided to give up on his dream to play in the big leagues and enrolled at OSU to play quarterback. Sitting on the bench behind Zac Robinson, Weeden saw very limited action through the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but once it was his time to shine at the start of the 2010 season, Weeden took his opportunity and ran with it.
With Weeden at the helm, the Cowboy's offense was transformed from an average Big-12 offense, to one of the nation's most prolific in just under two years. He threw for over 4,200 yards and 34 scores in 2010, then added to his already monster numbers in 2011, amassing more than 4,700 yards and 37 touchdowns with a completion percentage of 72.3 percent. His ability to make any throw has caught the attention of the NFL scouts and teams looking for a day one starter will find one in Weeden.
A lot has been said about his age. At 28 years old, Weeden is older than 17 of the current starters in the NFL. And, because of his age, people question whether or not someone should invest a high pick in a person who will possibly not be around as long as someone younger. But Weeden is not concerned about that; he knows he can win football games, and has the numbers to prove it. Twenty-three wins and only three losses in two years as a starter in college, adding to that over 9,200 yards passing and 75 touchdowns, Weeden's resume simply screams "production."
Weeden has taken a back seat to many quarterbacks in his time at OSU, and in each game, Weeden has risen above and beaten some of the best signal callers in the nation. Luck, Griffin, Tannehill, and Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles all have one thing in common if nothing else. Each of them lost to Brandon Weeden. Even Oklahoma Sooner Landry Jones, who many had picked as a dark horse Heisman candidate at the start of the 2011 season, lost to Weeden.
It is safe to say that whomever decides to pull the trigger with Weeden is going to get more than just your average, run of the mill quarterback. They will be drafting a guy with as much physical skill as mental savvy. But the most important thing is that, whoever gets him, they will be drafting a winner.
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