The Cleveland Browns had two picks in last night’s first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. They moved up one spot from No. 4 to No. 3 (giving up a pair of fourth-round picks in the process) to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson. At pick No. 22, they selected quarterback Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State. In the course of three hours, the Browns completely remade their offense. They also managed to draft a player who is closer to retirement age (football retirement, at least) than the other rookies in his class.
Weeden is a unique rookie because he is 28 years old, nearly a decade older than some of the players who were drafted last night. He came to the sport of football late, after a failed attempt at a baseball career. He had a productive college career, throwing passes to players like Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon at Oklahoma State, but he was unspectacular and many analysts saw him as a second-round pick at best. He ended up as the fourth quarterback off the board last night, following Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill (all of whom were top-ten picks).
Incredibly, Weeden is three years older than the player he was drafted to replace, Colt McCoy. McCoy has started at quarterback for the Browns for the past two seasons, but his weak arm hasn’t exactly inspired confidence in his coaches or in the fans who fill up the Dawg Pound on Sundays. The Browns staff indicated that they will look to trade McCoy.
Weeden will certainly be expected to start for the Browns from day one. You simply don’t draft a 28-year-old quarterback and then sit him on the bench to develop. The Browns will likely look to add more weapons for the offense in the second round of the draft, which begins at 7 p.m. EST tonight. Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill is one player who the Browns are rumored to have interest in.