2012 NFL Draft: What Should the Cleveland Browns Do about Brandon Weeden?
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The Cleveland Browns safely escaped from the "who will pick Ryan Tannehill" discussion before the real pre-draft insanity started in earnest. But that doesn't mean they've dodged a bullet when it comes to their plans at quarterback.
We all know that Tom Heckert, Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur are all committed to Colt McCoy being the starting quarterback for the 2012 season. Barring injury or a major setback, he should be under center for all 16 games.
However, the Browns still need to draft a quarterback this year, someone worth developing behind McCoy for a few years and someone who presents a more desirable option at backup than Seneca Wallace.
They certainly don't need to find this player in the first round, but many believe that Brandon Weeden would be the perfect quarterback for Cleveland and project the team taking him with their 37th overall second-round pick.
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I'm not entirely sold on the Browns needing to pick Weeden at No. 37, but that doesn't mean they can't get him. I think it's certainly quite possible that the Browns are more sold on Weeden than any other team, at least that early, and could have the opportunity to pick him up in Round 3 at No. 67.
Though drafting based on need has fallen out of fashion in the first round, that's just what the Browns need to do with their first three picks this year. It doesn't matter much—they'll be able to get top-rated talent at each important position (receiver, running back, offensive tackle), so they'll need to be able to match up the best available player with their needs.
Quarterback is certainly a need for Cleveland this year, but not as much as these other positions. They ostensibly have their starter for 2012 in McCoy and are hoping that with a full season of games under his belt, he'll be able to keep the job in the long term.
The Browns could look to an even later round to nab a quarterback—a player like Russell Wilson could be worth a pickup in rounds five or six, and in my estimation, would be a steal—but if their hearts are as set on Weeden as has been reported of late, they are going to have to take a big risk either way to get him.
When do you think the Browns should draft QB Brandon Weeden?
The first risk is taking him at No. 37 and passing on a receiver, running back or offensive lineman. In the third round, the former two could still be found, but the prospect of finding a guaranteed starter at right tackle dwindles.
The second risk is assuming no other team with a shaky quarterback situation wouldn't swoop in later in the second round and take Weeden, leaving the Browns to find someone else—someone like Wilson, who is more than just a consolation prize.
Cleveland does have an option if they are worried about the latter scenario playing out—trading back up into the second round. With 13 total draft picks this year, they'd easily be able to put together an acceptable package if they wanted to do so.
So while Weeden may be a very real target for the Browns this year, they don't need to pull the trigger on him at No. 37, and especially not at No. 22. If they play their cards right—and maybe do a bit of wheeling and dealing—they could fill their positions of most immediate need with bona fide playmakers and land Weeden as well.
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