By Raul Colon
One of the most interesting storylines in this year's NFL Draft is when and where Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden will be selected. There has been some speculations that the talented signal caller could be drafted as high as the end of the first round or as low as the bottom of the third. But before evaluating the round on which the former Oklahoma State Cowboy star would be picked, we have to analyze the player. Yes he is definitely in the Top 100 of the prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft, that's pretty much a consensus.
First, Weeden is a solid 6-4, 221 ponder with a good, live arm. Although he does not have the rare, elite arm strength that make many NFL teams drool, he has the ability to make every NFL throw when he stride into it. He does have to correct a small wind up in his delivery.
Weeden's accuracy depends, not on the length of his throws, but on his mechanics. He has above-average mechanics, the problem is that sometimes he doesn't set up well and throws off his his back foot to often.
Because of the offense that he ran in Oklahoma State, the vaunted spread, he was not asked to not make a deep progression pattern. Thus he has shown a bad habit of "eyeballing" his primary target.
That's said, Weeden reads defenses very well. Is an intelligent player who will undauntedly get better with more experience in a pro style system. He will never win a track meet, but he has some elusive ability which will enable him to side step the pressure. He also has good pocket presence.
Overall, Weeden is definitely not in the class of Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, but he is right in with projected top 10 pick, Texas A&m QB Ryan Tannehill.
So now to the question when and where will he land?
It's easy to point to his age (28 years old) and said that his shelf life will be less than 10 years. Still, an 8 to 9 year career is above the average of many NFL QBs.
One of the most rumored teams associated with Weeden is Kansas City. GM, Scott Pioli does not like to draft quarterbacks in the early rounds, but he will likely make an exemption here. Weeden could give enigmatic starting QB Matt Cassel some competition this year. Don't read too much into the Kyle Orton signing last year. Weeden have a much higher ceiling that the well traveled Orton.
Another possibility will be the Buffalo Bills. Yes, they do have Ryan Fitzpatrick, but until last year, the former Yale QB was viewed by many around the league as career backup. Weeden could flourish in Chan Gailey's offense which incorporates some concepts from the spread system.
San Diego is another destination. Although the Chargers have a Pro Bowl signal caller in Phillip Rivers, they could add Weeden as insurance policy and develop him for trade value later on, like the team did with Charlie Whitehurst a few years ago.
But the best place for Weeden to land is Denver. The Broncos have a nucleus of young and talented playmakers on offense ready to take the next step. They now have a Hall of Fame quarterback in Payton Manning and the defense needed to win in January. Manning will probably play two to three more years, if he is completely healthy, leaving Weeden at least a 5 year window as Denver's starting QB. That's why Denver will not hesitate to grab Weeden with its second round pick, 57th overall.
The Cleveland Browns with their 2nd first round pick, #22 overall is also a likey candidate to draft Weeden. With two number one picks this year they could get an elite player like RB Trent Richardson with their fourth overall pick and use their second on a replacement for struggling QB Colt McCoy.
In three years we might look at this draft and wonder why Weeden lasted until the middle of the second round.