Judging the Cleveland Browns 2012 1st Round Picks: Weeden and Richardson
Regardless, it’s been an exciting day. Here are my thoughts on each pick, and because I’m a dork who should be studying for finals, I’ll write it with a legal theme:
4) TRENT RICHARDSON, RB, ALABAMA
I’m not thrilled with taking a RB high. I wrote about this four months ago, and in case you missed it/don’t want to read it now, here are the cliff notes:
- Trent Richardson is a phenomenal running back.
- But, you don’t need a phenomenal running back to be successful in the NFL.
- Only 2/12 playoff teams this past year started a first round running back.
- NONE of those first round running backs were playing for the team that drafted them.
- The best running back in the game (Adrian Peterson) played for a team that was worse than the Browns.
- Running backs are so, so, so dependent on their offensive line.
- Therefore, I’d rather spend the pick on something else.
While I still believe in what I wrote (and all of those points are still logical), I have softened on my stance considerably. There are plenty of positives to his game:
- There don’t appear to be any negatives to his game. He can run, catch, pass block, and doesn’t let coaches push him around.
- He shred the SEC – God’s Gift To Defense.
- Maurice Clarett tweeted to me that he thinks Trent is awesome.
- He seems like a phenomenally nice guy. I mean, he took a girl who recently battled cancer to her high school prom.
- As the video above suggests, his nickname is “The Beast.” I can always get on board with that.
I like it. The fact that we traded up to get him proves that he was the Browns top choice. And we did not give up too much up – a 4th, 5th and 7th rounder is absolutely expendable to ensure you get your top guy.
The Browns finally have a superstar that could potentially make the cover of Madd… Wait. What?
22) BRANDON WEEDEN, QB, OKLAHOMA STATE
OK, so first of all:
- HE’S ALMOST 29!
- I know some people say this shouldn’t be a big deal. But it is a big deal. Don’t tell me it’s not.
- He’s already older than Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith. They were drafted in 2005.
- It’s normal for rookies to take at least 3 years to get acclimated to the NFL. By the time he gets acclimated… he’ll be 32!
Now, for anyone who counters that last point with: “but he’s pro-ready! He can start from day 1!”… let’s not assume that, because he’s old, he’s ready to play:
- He played in a spread offense at Oklahoma State. This normally devalues other QBs because there will be a learning adjustment.
- Never called a play from the huddle.
- Struggled and made erratic throws when facing pressure.
- He tried playing in a West Coast offense in the Senior Bowl… and threw 2 interceptions in just 9 passes.
Now, having said all that…
- I LOVE his arm. The guy has a cannon, and his throwing motion just LOOKS pure. (This last point may sound odd, but I always thought that something didn’t LOOK right about the way Boller/Quinn/Clausen/[same with Tannehill] threw a ball… so, take that for what it’s worth.)
- Very accurate thrower.
- Big guy.
- His hair matches his new helmet.
- If he were 23, he’d have been taken in the top 5.
- By not playing football for so many years, he doesn’t have the same mileage as a lot of other QBs would.
- I don’t care what you say/think about Sports Science.. that video above is f*cking awesome.
Clearly this was their guy, and clearly Colt McCoy was not. Any idea that this will be an open competition is ridiculous. You don’t draft a 29 year old in the first round and make him sit. That’s a wasted pick. They are going to roll the dice with Weeden. And don’t be surprised if Colt McCoy is dealt by the time the weekend is over.
This wasn’t the route I was personally hoping for (my plan would have been to draft guys around Colt McCoy this year… and if he failed in 2012, go balls deep after Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson), but whatever.
I do like Weeden. I have a good feeling about him. So, we’ll see.
DICTA (OTHER THOUGHTS)
If running backs and 29-year-old QBs have one thing in common: short shelf lives.
What should that tell Browns fans? This organization is trying to win now.
I like that attitude.