Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Jaws' QB countdown: Weeden at No. 26
By Jamison Hensley
Even though the Cleveland Browns have yet to name their starting quarterback, ESPN's Ron Jaworski has no doubts that it will be Brandon Weeden, who is ranked No. 26 on his annual quarterback rankings.
“I believe Weeden to be a rock-solid NFL starter in Norv Turner’s offense," Jaworski said. "It will feature a heavy emphasis on play-action and intermediate and downfield throws -- that’s Weeden’s strength."
This is the right spot for Weeden. He comes in ahead of Christian Ponder (No. 27), Mark Sanchez (No. 28), Chad Henne (No. 29), Kevin Kolb (No. 30), Jake Locker (No. 31) and Matt Flynn (No. 32).
Many forget that Weeden threw for 3,385 yards last season, which was more than rookies Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. He did, however, rank near the bottom of the league in completion rate (57.4 percent) and near the top in interceptions (17).
Weeden will have a better chance to succeed because his strong arm should be better utilized in a vertical passing attack compared to Pat Shurmur's West Coast offense.
"I evaluated all of Weeden’s throws in his rookie season, and I came away impressed," Jaworski said. “For a rookie, Weeden showed uncommon poise and calm in the pocket. His mechanics were consistently solid. He showed the necessary ability to sit on his back foot and drive the ball with velocity. Did he struggle at times with clarity, seeing the field? Absolutely. Did he make some poor reads and bad throws in critical red zone situations? No doubt. But that’s what you expect from a rookie quarterback."
The Browns brought in Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer this offseason, but Weeden remained the favorite to be the Browns' starting quarterback when mandatory minicamp ended last month. The question is whether Weeden will be the Browns' starting quarterback in 2014 and beyond.
“Overall, I was impressed with Weeden’s rookie season," Jaworski said. "He will be the Browns' starting quarterback in 2013. There’s no question in my mind that his throwing skill-set and Turner’s quarterback-friendly system will mesh effectively.”