Weeden and Richardson Will Make Browns Title Contenders Within Next Three Years
The Cleveland Browns netted two talents in the 2012 NFL Draft who could be staples in their offense for the next decade. Quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson.
Weeden, 28, was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the draft out of Oklahoma State.
He led the Cowboys to a BCS Bowl victory against the Stanford Cardinal to end last season. Many believed his team should have been represented in the national championship game. They fell short as LSU and Alabama played their rematch.
The maturity level given the experiences Weeden has gone through with his professional baseball career and his age make him ready for the NFL game now. He has better physical qualities than Colt McCoy, and can consistently throw the ball farther down the field.
Weeden's accuracy is second to none as he completed over 66 percent of his passes his junior and senior campaign. He is a winner and will know how to handle the pressure of being a rookie.
McCoy was a winner in his own right with Texas, but has lacked the physical tools to be a consistent quarterback at the NFL level.
Weeden can see over the offensive line with his 6'4", 218-pound frame. He can read through all of his progressions and get the ball out at the right time.
The offensive line should have its best season with a more balanced approach on offense. The rushing attack will be better than ever with Richardson in the backfield.
Richardson was the third overall selection in this past draft. The Browns traded up a spot with the Minnesota Vikings to select the former Alabama running back.
A finalist for the Heisman trophy last season, Richardson also won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top back. He is expected to be the main guy for the Browns in the backfield.
The unanimous First-Team All-American in 2011 has all the tools to be one of the best players in the league right away. He can shake defenders and gain separation, break tackles, and catch out of the backfield. He is considered a workhorse which the Browns needed with the departure of Peyton Hillis.
Weeden and Richardson are going to make each other better, and the entire team around them more formidable.
The AFC North is a tough division already with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and a rising team in the Cincinnati Bengals.
Weeden has the ability to throw for 4,000 yards right away with receiving threats Greg Little and rookie Josh Gordon, who was selected in the supplemental draft. Jordan Cameron should develop into their main threat over the middle at tight end.
The future looks bright on all sides of the ball for the Browns. Expect all the pieces to gradually fall into place.
Teams who were left out of postseason play one year, can surprise and make it the next season. It wouldn't be a shock that within the next three seasons, Cleveland could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
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