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Old 01-03-2012, 07:04 PM    (permalink
Caulibflower
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Default Early Impressions - 5 QBs

2012 Quarterback Rankings (Subject to change)

1. Andrew Luck
2. Ryan Tannehill
3. Robert Griffin III
4. Russell Wilson
5. Brandon Weeden

Simple fact: I don't like Landry Jones. He might be tall and able to throw it far, but I simply don't believe he'll be a valuable NFL player. So he's not in my top-5. I may mitigate my dislike later, but I've just never been impressed with any part of his game.

Andrew Luck

Positives: Displays total control and confidence when he plays. Doesn't rush anything, understands coverages, knows how to throw his receivers open. Is a good athlete and can buy time as well as throw on the run. Has enough arm strength to make the throws he needs to make, and is accurate. Executes the play-action very well.

Negatives: Lacks elite arm strength and doesn't throw the greatest deep ball. A bit of a dink-and-dunker. Has a bit of a tendency to leave his receivers out to dry.

Overall impression: Looks like an professional quarterback playing college football. Fits in any offense, but strikes me as a guy who would do a lot of damage playing in a more traditional offense with a good running game so he can use the play-action he does so well and make plays off of bootlegs. I wouldn't really want to put him right into a wide-open offense, actually; I don't really feel like that's his style. His style of play, at least in college, has been somewhat conservative, but very efficient, effective, and polished. I fully expect him to be a 12+ year starter.

Ryan Tannehill

Positives: Athleticism, intelligence, has demonstrated an ability to learn new positions and have quick success, arm strength, pocket presence. If Texas A&M had won more games, people wouldn't be nearly so down on Tannehill. I've watched a lot of Tannehill. It wasn't Tannehill who lost those games. A&M's losses were by 1 point to Oklahoma State, 4 points to Arkansas, by a TD to Mizzou in overtime, by 16 to Oklahoma, by 3 to Kansas State in 4 overtimes and by 2 to Texas. That's a ton of really close games, a bunch of which A&M had early leads in. That says more about the team as a whole than an indictment of any single player. Those were defensive collapses, and I know I might be sounding like an apologist, but a lot of those games could've been won had Tannehill's receivers been able to hang onto balls that hit them in the chest on third down.

But on to the things I specifically like about Tannehill – when I first started watching him, I think I watched an “every-throw” compilation against LSU – obviously one of the best college defenses in the country. He was nailing the out routes, and I think it was from last year, his first year as a college QB. i.e., he was making plays right in front of Patrick Peterson and making him look pretty average, and doing so after only being a college QB for half a season. His spirals are tight and he has good placement on those sideline throws, allowing his receivers to shield the ball with their bodies and pick up consistent first downs. He throws pretty well on the run, and can throw a good deep ball. But the other thing I really, really like about Tannehill is the way he looks with pressure coming at him, and I think this is a critical trait for NFL quarterbacks – he ignores it. He does a great job of allowing his receivers to come open while trusting his pocket. He's willing to take hits by staying in the pocket long enough to get the throw off. And even in those losing games, he never looked frantic. He just kept pushing. Unfortunately, there were some dropped balls and defensive failures that left A&M with a few more losses than maybe they should've had. That was a team that was more talented than their record last year.

Negatives: Must learn to read coverages better and be willing to look at his non-primary reads. This is a major weakness. I hardly ever saw him looking to second or third receivers. Rolling out to his right, he'd never look to his left. He'd take a drop and just be looking for Fuller the whole time. A lot of his interceptions are because of this; he knows he wants to throw it deep to Fuller, Fuller's double-covered... he throws it anyways. Pick. In a way, this is almost impressive to me; there are many plays where as soon as the ball is snapped, you can see who he's looking for and sure enough, that's where he throws it. Often he completes passes just because his ball placement is good enough that defensive backs couldn't get to it. But that's going to be a lot harder in the NFL, and if he keeps it up he's going to be a pick-6 machine whenever he tries to throw short outs and flat routes. Needs to keep learning the mental side of being a QB, and needs to trust his receivers to be there when he can't see them, but those are things that I think come with experience.

Overall impression: I think Tannehill has all the phsyical abilities you could want in an NFL QB, I think he might have the best raw arm in this draft class, and I like his toughness in the pocket and the fact that he's played two positions at a high level as a college player; that tells me he's a hard worker and can pick things up quickly. He will require a lot of teaching in the NFL as he continues to learn the nuances of the position, but I'm inclined to roll the dice on him. To me, he's got the intangible qualities you can't really coach, and the areas in which he needs to improve are areas that come with experience and coaching.

Robert Griffin III

Positives: Phenomenal athlete. Can make plays that other quarterbacks simply cannot make. Has the ability to make plays with his feet when the protection breaks down and is a dangerous open-field runner. Throws a good deep ball. Has a pretty quick release and shows some nice touch. Has a well-established reputation as a hard worker and a good student.

Negatives: Playing in a wide-open offense in a conference full of terrible defenses inflated his stats and led to lot of highlight-reel plays, not to mention he was throwing to arguably one of the top-5 receivers in college football. I have the feeling a lot of people are infatuated with his highlight reel, but might not be seeing enough of the things that an NFL quarterback really needs to be showing. I also think Cam Newton's success is positively affecting Griffin's stock. It's quite evident that athlete QBs can have success in the NFL, per Newton, but Newton has a serious size advantage over Griffin, and I also (dare I say it?) thought I saw more NFL-type throws from Newton last year than I have from Griffin this year. Newton, although he didn't throw nearly as often as Griffin, could really nail the out route, and I thought he threw better on the run. Newton also had much better pocket presence. They both have quite a few deep balls to evaluate, but a lot of Griffin's throws are on crossing routes, and that worries me a little. I am not a fan of Griffin's pocket presence. When he gets pressures, he frequently bends his knees and looks for running lanes instead of staying tall. Not every time, of course, but I've seen it enough to think it's something he does instinctively and I don't think that's a good thing. He also runs wild. He runs like he's going to get hurt.

Overall: Griffin is a great athlete. He throws a good deep ball. He can throw with touch, he can throw on the move, and he's seems like a great guy. But he's not there yet. I think if he gets in a good situation he can have a lot of success, but I guess I don't see him as a franchise-changer. If he goes to a struggling franchise, I think he could just end up struggling right along with it. That's what separates him from Luck; Luck, to me, is a guy who will keep a team in a game. I think Griffin will be fun to watch, but... I don't know. I don't quite trust him. He's just got that “He'll never be as good in the NFL as he was in college” feel for me. Now, he won the Heisman, so that's not to say I don't think he can be a good NFL player, but I don't see him being an elite NFL quarterback.

Russell Wilson

Positives: Efficient, accurate, smart, mature, athletic. He's got a ton of experience running play-action. He, like Luck, looks confident and in total control of his offense. Finished the season with a 33-4 TD to INT ratio, and I put some stock in that kind of efficiency. I like that he's a good athlete and can make plays with his feet. He's really quick, and I think it'll translate to the NFL; he's not so much a scrambler as a guy who is really nimble and can make defenders miss him, and he does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield while he does so.

Negatives: Obviously, it's all about the size. Listed at 5'11” 201. He actually looks a little heavier than that to me, though. I'd rather he was 6'2”, obviously, but he looks like he can carry enough weight to absorb some punishment. It lowers his stock a bit for me, but not nearly to where I don't think he can play in the NFL. He doesn't have a cannon for an arm. Physically unimpressive in a lineup of QB prospects.

Overall impression: He's small and doesn't possess any traits which really pop off the screen at you, but he strikes me as a really smart player who doesn't mess up, and when you combine that with his athleticism he looks to me like a player who can win some games. I wouldn't draft him hoping he turns into a starter, but would expect him to be a solid backup and wouldn't be surprised if he could be more than that.

Brandon Weeden

Positives: Good size, strong arm, maturity, athletic experience. Has a good pocket presence and makes some really nice throws. He's old, but with that comes the understanding of what is expected of professional athletes. So while he's losing some value for his age, at the same time I think a team that picks him can be very confident that they're getting a guy who is going to come in and work hard and be a professional. He's a low-risk pick, he's just not going to have as long a career as other prospects.

Negatives: Besides age, he was throwing to the best receiver in college football for the last three years in a wide-open offense that padded his stats. He might not be as good as his stat sheet. Like Griffin, an awful lot of his yardage comes on crossing routes, letting his receivers do most of the work. I'd like to see a bit more from him. I've watched a few games of his, and he does some things I like, and also makes a few throws that leave me shaking my head.

Overall impression: I actually think he's quite a bit like Landry Jones physically, expect he responds better to pressure. I think he's a guy who a team will take in the middle rounds and will be a good backup and spot starter, and perhaps end up in a starting role for a few years. I see him as kind of a long-bomber type QB who will go well on a team that has a strong running game; don't really see the type who is going to pick apart a defense, even though he's coming from a QB-centered offense in college.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:17 PM    (permalink
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This is a really good breakdown of the QBs this year. Props.

I wish you could throw a blurb in there about Case Keenum as well.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:43 PM    (permalink
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Might do a 6-10 later when I've watched more film.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:10 PM    (permalink
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Really well put. Agree on everything except Landry Jones. He's got his flaws (mainly his two legs) but with his arm and ball placement, if he learns to read coverages well, he can overcome them and be a starting QB. I remember reading a stat at one point this season that his rating was even higher when he was blitzed. If I'm Seattle, I'd be more comfortable with Jones than Tannehill for the short term ( in that I think the Seahawks could contend right now with a good QB), but right now I think both are reaches in the first. I still like Tannehill a lot but he looks more like a long term project than I once thought. His mobility is especially overrated, which is why I don't see quite as much of a gap between him and Jones anymore.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:09 PM    (permalink
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I remember reading a stat at one point this season that (Jones') rating was even higher when he was blitzed.
That's pretty interesting to me. Might be able to argue that's because his receivers had less defenders to evade, though.

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(Tannehill's) mobility is especially overrated, which is why I don't see quite as much of a gap between him and Jones anymore.
And you'll note that beyond mentioning his experience as a receiver, I didn't say anything about scrambling. I really don't see him as a scrambler any more than, say, Christian Ponder last year just because he'll probably run a 4.6 or so at the combine. But you're right; Tannehill doesn't look like a guy who's going to be running much in the NFL.

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Old 01-04-2012, 06:40 AM    (permalink
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Does anyone like Landry Jones?
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:11 AM    (permalink
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I like Landry's physical tools, but I haven't seen him play enough to really say that I like his makeup. I like that he can make every throw and that he's a big kid who can take punishment, but I don't know about him as a QB. With the right coach and the mentor he could be a very nice player.

Sort of like Gabbert, that kid can play, he's just in a horrible situation with a miserable offense. But he's got to get his head around it, he needs a better coach, and he needs some time to develop. I don't think he'll take as long as Alex Smith did to come around, but the truth about Alex Smith is that they got him a coach who's good with QBs, and voila he's a solid player.

I think Landry Jones will be that type of guy. Given the right situation he has everything he needs to be successful in the NFL physically.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:32 AM    (permalink
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You nailed the Tannehill eval.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:49 AM    (permalink
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Tannehill is not a good QB, watched him a lot this year.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:08 AM    (permalink
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Tannehill is not a good QB, watched him a lot this year.
I think he gets a bad wrap with a lot of people because they see "SR" next to his name on TV and really evaluate him as a senior quarterback.

He's played the position in college for a year and a half. If Blaine ******* Gabbert can be talked about as potentially the first pick in the draft (and end up going in the top 10), there's no reason Tannehill can't be a first rounder.

He's got everything you can't teach, and is further along in his QB development than most would assume for a guy who's been playing the position for a year and a half.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:35 PM    (permalink
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I think Landry Jones will be a high riser because of the combine. He will be one of them that will shine there and rise in the draft due to his intangibles. It will be interesting since there will be 4 QBs taken in the first most likely.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:33 PM    (permalink
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I think he gets a bad wrap with a lot of people because they see "SR" next to his name on TV and really evaluate him as a senior quarterback.

He's played the position in college for a year and a half. If Blaine ******* Gabbert can be talked about as potentially the first pick in the draft (and end up going in the top 10), there's no reason Tannehill can't be a first rounder.

He's got everything you can't teach, and is further along in his QB development than most would assume for a guy who's been playing the position for a year and a half.
How rude of them.

I didn't mind Tannehill because I knew the Jets wouldn't touch him, but man do I look forward to him busting.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:02 PM    (permalink
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I watched the Tannehill vs LSU highlight and I think you are right about everything you said. He nails the outs and comeback routes. The only thing I didn't see was that he not only doesn't come away from his primary target but also doesn't seem to have much patience in the pocket to let a play develop. I don't think I saw him once wait an extra split second to see if a receiver could break free down field.

Granted they were blitzing him a lot and there were times he didn't have time to throw so all of the shorter passing plays made sense. However, there were times they managed to pick up the blitz and if he would have examined the field he may have been able to spot a blown assignment or an open receiver. Although, I could be wrong and they were all covered but it didn't look like he even gave it a chance. Still though in the 3rd or 4th quarter when you are losing by that much you got to take a shot deep even if your receiver isn't wide open.

I just think patience in the pocket, as well as the ability to examine the field is something you can't teach and I didn't see it in that highlight. Therefore I see Tannehill as a serviceable backup maybe a starter just not a future star.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:40 AM    (permalink
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I watched the Tannehill vs LSU highlight and I think you are right about everything you said. He nails the outs and comeback routes. The only thing I didn't see was that he not only doesn't come away from his primary target but also doesn't seem to have much patience in the pocket to let a play develop. I don't think I saw him once wait an extra split second to see if a receiver could break free down field.

Granted they were blitzing him a lot and there were times he didn't have time to throw so all of the shorter passing plays made sense. However, there were times they managed to pick up the blitz and if he would have examined the field he may have been able to spot a blown assignment or an open receiver. Although, I could be wrong and they were all covered but it didn't look like he even gave it a chance. Still though in the 3rd or 4th quarter when you are losing by that much you got to take a shot deep even if your receiver isn't wide open.

I just think patience in the pocket, as well as the ability to examine the field is something you can't teach and I didn't see it in that highlight. Therefore I see Tannehill as a serviceable backup maybe a starter just not a future star.
I know this was an old comment, but thought it was kind of interesting - how often do you see a prospect who you don't think holds onto the ball long enough in the pocket? Who gets rid of it "too quickly," as it were?
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:30 PM    (permalink
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No clue how Griffin is below Tannehill, and I like Tannehill. Plus Foles, give me him over Russell Wilson any day, Wilson will surprise some people but his height is a huge issue in the long term. Plus his statistics were inflated on Wisconsin since they had such a great running game Wilson rarely had to throw under pressure.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:50 PM    (permalink
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I think the Luck arm strength concerns are way off. Watch the game against OSU, he was zipping the ball into spots. His arm strength is atleast at Peyton level, and stronger than Brady coming out.

I also think the dink and dunk offense concerns are way overblown, if a guy is a talented thrower he can play in any offense. Big Ben played in a wide open offense in college, and was much more conservative his first few years in the pros and only now is starting to play wide open again. He dinks and dunks some because Stanford runs a 3 TE offense half the time. And its not like his throws are check downs, just because it's to a TE doesn't mean he's not throwing it 15-20 yards in the air.

After watching the OSU game I'm more sure than ever that he will be a star in the league.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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I think the Luck arm strength concerns are way off. Watch the game against OSU, he was zipping the ball into spots. His arm strength is atleast at Peyton level, and stronger than Brady coming out.

I also think the dink and dunk offense concerns are way overblown, if a guy is a talented thrower he can play in any offense. Big Ben played in a wide open offense in college, and was much more conservative his first few years in the pros and only now is starting to play wide open again. He dinks and dunks some because Stanford runs a 3 TE offense half the time. And its not like his throws are check downs, just because it's to a TE doesn't mean he's not throwing it 15-20 yards in the air.

After watching the OSU game I'm more sure than ever that he will be a star in the league.
It's more of a stylistic thing for me than anything else. There are offenses he'd be better in than others. There's offenses where another quarterback would probably be better. For a prospect as good as Luck, seems like anything under the "negative" heading is just naming some things he's not better than everyone else at. He doesn't have elite arm strength, and you don't see him ripping it down the field all that often. It's not to say he can't.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:46 AM    (permalink
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I have the same QB rankings but Weedan is just ahead of Wilson. I am not a big fan of Nick Foles or Kirk Cousins so im glad to see someone agress with me.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:33 PM    (permalink
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I have Nick Foles as the third best, he's got so much Joe Flacco in him.

Well written though.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:28 PM    (permalink
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Foles third best really ? ha . Kellen Moore should be in your list as well. Don't knock his size. Will be a good time QB in a west coast system.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:29 AM    (permalink
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Foles third best really ? ha . Kellen Moore should be in your list as well. Don't knock his size. Will be a good time QB in a west coast system.
Wait, Kellen Moore will be a good QB in a west coast system, but Foles at third is laughable?

I truly don't understand why some people don't buy into Foles, is the long hair too similar to that guy in Mizzou who couldn't even complete 60% of his passes in college? (yes, Gabbert)

First of all, Foles had a BRUTAL running game! Maybe it had to do with the two FRESHMAN tackles he had blocking for him, but regardless if you wanted to beat Arizona all you had to do was focus on the passing game. Now with that being said, Foles still managed to complete 69.1% of his passes. Yes 69.1%, a major 2.2% less than Andrew Luck, while throwing roughly 150 more times.

Now one thing you absolutely cannot dispute about Foles, is that his deep throw is the second best in the draft besides RG3. He almost effortlessly gets the ball down field and based off of past draft classes, this is one thing that will always translate to the NFL. You can discredit the spread offense, but are we discrediting RG3's spread offense at Baylor? I'm certainly not, and while he does have that blazing Mike Vick speed, he doesn't have that prototypical size that Foles will benefit from.

Based off of what I have seen from quarterbacks in the past 5ish years that I've really been following the draft, Foles is middle of the first round prospect, being held back from a terrible supporting cast at Arizona.

Watch the tape vs Oklahoma State and tell me he won't be a starting NFL QB. (Yes they lost)
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:08 PM    (permalink
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I truly don't understand why some people don't buy into Foles, is the long hair too similar to that guy in Mizzou who couldn't even complete 60% of his passes in college? (yes, Gabbert)
Please go back to school and learn some math.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:38 PM    (permalink
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I see Kellen Moore as being very similar to Colt McCoy. I think he could win games if the team around him had a lot of talent, but I don't think he can win by himself. That's what we're seeing in Cleveland right now; that's a team with average talent and a slightly below-average QB. McCoy and Moore are both pretty smart and accurate, so they wouldn't be giving the ball away, but they've got some limitations you can't ignore. Like McCoy, I can imagine scenarios where Moore ends up starting for someone, but also like McCoy, I'm doubtful he will ever be a franchise QB and is the kind of guy whose seat will probably always be a little warm even if his team is winning.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:37 AM    (permalink
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Andrew Luck - Projected starter of Indianapolis

Ryan Tannehill - Projected starter of Miami

Robert Griffin III - Projected starter of Washington

Russell Wilson - Coaching staff says he's squarely in the starting competition

Brandon Weedon - Projected starter of Cleveland. (...Derek Anderson II?)

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Old 06-10-2012, 06:01 AM    (permalink
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Andrew Luck - Projected starter of Indianapolis

Ryan Tannehill - Projected starter of Miami

Robert Griffin III - Projected starter of Washington

Russell Wilson - Coaching staff says he's squarely in the starting competition

Brandon Weedon - Projected starter of Cleveland. (...Derek Anderson II?)
I don't see Weeden as DA II. Only thing I really see that's similar so far is they both have good size and a strong arm. But DA was a bit of a dunderhead, something I haven't seen out of Weeden yet. DA let media criticism affect him too much, and just wasn't as professional handling things as it appears Weeden is. Weeden displays maturity that I doubt DA is capable of.

Derek Anderson was inaccurate on short to medium passes, and got rid of the ball too quickly too often, I believe because he didn't want to get hit.

Obviously we don't have pro games to judge Weeden on yet, but it sounds like he's doing a very good job so far. Things I've heard in player and coach interviews about him: strong, accurate passes, quick learner, ahead of where most rookies usually are at this point, takes command.

And just based on what I've read and seen so far, he's very confident, almost to the point of being arrogant, but is smart enough to handle things professionally. Some rookie QB's might not have been able to deal with McCoy still being on the team, as well as Weeden has. Personally, I'd like to see McCoy kept over Wallace as the primary backup, but it sounds like Colt will be gone before the season starts.

It'll be interesting to see how Weeden performs with the WR's on the team. Mike Holmgren has been saying for the last two years that they like the ones they have on the team, and that Massaquoi didn't get the ball thrown to him enough last season, but many Browns fans will tell you they need a #1 WR. As much as I hate that term, it's true in the Browns case. They either need 3 or 4 WR's to step up and be solid options, or to draft a great one the next chance they get. I gave MoMass the benefit of the doubt, but after last season have less confidence in him. Cribbs, Little, and Jordan Norwood aren't going to scare too many teams. The rookie out of Miami might if he can get off the line of scrimmage, because he does have great speed. And for the last couple of years we've heard how good Carleton Mitchell was/is doing, but he was never in the game. Guess they were saving him as a secret weapon until they drafted a good QB. Didn't want to reveal him too soon, so division rivals wouldn't draft players to counter his super-WR abilities.

It will be interesting to chart Weeden's career to the other QB's drafted in this year's draft, especially RG3's and Tannehill's. I will not be surprised if Weeden has a better career.

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