By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
NEW YORK – Forget about the age thing.
Brandon Weeden might be “old” for an NFL rookie, but he is far from ancient.
At 28 (he’ll be 29 in October) he is plenty young to be viewed as a player with the proverbial upside.
And let’s face it: The goal is to have a quarterback who can make a major impact in the next three to five years. In the grand scheme of things, worrying about what he will do 10 years from now is fairly irrelevant.
The Browns needed a passer with a big arm that allows him to handle the inclement conditions with which they often have to cope at home as well as at the three other stadiums they visit each year in the AFC North. Weeden gives them that.
They needed a quarterback with a strong pocket presence – a strong, fearless leader who won’t back down from the challenges prevented by the stout defenses of the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals. Those can both be checked off with Weeden.
Getting that kind of player at the most important position on the team was critical enough for the Browns not to take a chance on waiting beyond the No. 22 pick to do so.
Don’t fret. The Browns still have the ability to find the help they need at wide receiver and on the offensive line on Friday night, and can hit their defensive needs through the balance of the draft as well.
Weeden is a poised professional. The time he spent as a professional baseball player, which caused him to put his football career on hold, allowed him to grow and develop as a man. It hardened him – gave him more of an edge than can be found from the typical rookie.
The fact Weeden is older than Colt McCoy, as well as many other players on the Browns, is no small consideration. He won’t feel any sense of intimidation or trepidation about stepping into an NFL locker room.
You want your quarterback feeling that he is not merely leasing the spot behind center. You want him to feel that he owns it. That is the sort of feeling Weeden will have.
With a dynamic running back in Trent Richardson and a big-armed passer in Brandon Weeden, the Browns have every reason to feel good about the way they have begun one of the most critical drafts in team history.
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