NFL Preseason Games: Brandon Weeden and Top Rookies to Watch on Friday Night

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIAugust 10, 2012

BEREA, OH - MAY 12: Quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns during the second day of minicamp at Cleveland Browns training facility on May 12, 2012 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

A quarterback battle, a few elite offensive linemen and a 28-year-old rookie quarterback highlight Friday's action in the NFL Preseason.

When these guys take the field on Friday night we will get our first look at some of the league's top rookies.

While it's only the first game of the preseason and we may not see them long, we finally get to see the unveiling of these elite prospects.



Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins vs. Mark Barron, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Texas A&M quarterback was drafted into a poor situation in Miami. Now he's in a three-way competition for the starting job under center with Matt Moore and David Garrard.

Tannehill is in a tough situation, and his opponent might not help him.

When the Dolphins play, the Bucs safety Mark Barron will be hawking around down field. Barron is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, and we will get to see the two square off at 7:30 p.m. ET.



The Offensive Linemen

Matt Kalil (Minnesota Vikings) and Riley Reiff (Detroit Lions) will both be in action tonight. They are the top two offensive linemen in the 2012 draft class. Both could have been top-10 picks. Both suffered falls, however, as Kalil went No. 4 and Reiff went No. 23.

We're going to see if these two live up to their initial hype or show why they fell on the draft board.

Kalil will be trying to stop a San Francisco 49ers defense that could pose problems, while Reiff will try to keep the Cleveland Browns out of the backfield.

Both of these guys have tremendous upside at the next level, and this will be our first look at these two studs.


Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

The 28-year-old rookie mentioned in the beginning, Brandon Weeden, will be playing against Reiff's Lions—although not against Reiff per say.

Weeden will be trying to stand and deliver in the pocket in the face of a vicious Detroit pass-rush that includes Ndamukong Suh. He has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, as there is rampant speculation that he will either boom or bust in the NFL.

Weeden may be the most intriguing prospect on display tonight. When he takes the field, the judgement of whether or not it was a good choice to draft such an aged rookie will flow. And even though it's only the first game of preseason, he is looking to put together a good drive or two to prove that he is worth every penny.