He has all the tools and in fact, many in the scouting world believe that Brandon Weeden is the best NFL ready QB in the 2012 NFL Draft. While Andrew Luck get’s all the hype at the number one overall pick, and RGIII rumors about trades up to the second spot spout faster than his 40 time, Brandon Weeden silently goes about his preparation behind the big two and a rising Ryan Tannehill.
Can the Miami Dolphins afford both Brandon Weeden and Matt Flynn as so many have asked in Emails on the subject? Financially yes but time is the issue here.
Weeden has been a stellar collegiate QB. He is the prototype QB, has the maturity of a savvy veteran, has posted two consecutive 30 plus touchdown seasons, and is ready to take the leap into the NFL. The downside? He is almost 28 years old.
Weeden kicked off his collegiate football career late after taking a swing in the MLB minor league system. Now, as he enters the second professional sports career, his age is the only thing holding him from being a top 10 draft pick. Weeden is mentioned often in common water-cooler talk but no one expects him to be a draft day conversation piece as much as an afterthought in round 2. For the Dolphins, a QB hungry team, Weedon could be a QB that could step in and challenge Matt Moore immediately for the starting job. Unfortunately, he will not get that opportunity if Matt Flynn is brought into Miami.
The window on Brandon Weeden is closing and that is why his stock as a QB suffers into round 2. At the age of 28, no one can say for certain if Weeden will pick up the NFL as quickly as Kurt Warner did who came into his NFL career at the same age. Weeden could take a year or more to fully comprehend what he is seeing in front of him. That timeline puts him around 30 by the time a team can start to get what they hope out of him. While more QB’s are pushing the 40 year old mark than ever in NFL history, there is no way to foretell if Weeden would be able to give a team 10 years or six or seven. Or what that upside might be.
Now it’s worth the risk by all means if a team like the Dolphins takes him in round 2 to come to Miami and challenge a guy like Matt Moore. The investment in both is marginal. Add in a Matt Flynn and it becomes almost impossible. I bring this up because of several Emails I have received regarding the Dolphins signing a free agent QB and then possibly taking a guy like Weedon in round 2. So many that I felt compelled to address it.
Assuming that the Dolphins land Matt Flynn in free agency, you can expect a minimum of 4 years. Three of which the Dolphins will pin their hope of success on. First year would be classified as a transition from back-up to starter year. Year two should see major improvement. Year three he needs to get it or the team needs to start looking elsewhere in year four. Make no mistake about it, if the Dolphins sign Flynn, say to an 8 or 9 mill a year contract, there will be no competition for the starting job.
In this case, a guy like Brandon Weeden would be out of the picture. His age simply doesn’t afford the Dolphins an opportunity to wait. Three years to see if Flynn has “IT” would make Weeden a 31 year old back-up who could start at the age of 32 in year four. Give a two year window for him to grow acclimated to the NFL and you’are looking at an age of about 35 entering his third season as a starter.
Compare that to a guy like Kirk Cousins who given that same time frame would still only be around 27. Not to make a case for Cousins, just using him as an example.
The point of this article is not knock Brandon Weeden for his age. I would draft the guy if my other options were not available. Weeden would, in my opinion, present Matt Moore with a legit competition in camp and the window for Weeden to succeed would be much better as he could potentially take over for Moore if not in year one, year two. No the point here is to show how much thought needs to go into making a move and then another to back it up. The Dolphins are playing a teetering game with their QB’s this year. Some believe that the best option for the Dolphins would be to bring in a guy like Weedon and let him compete with Moore for a year. Others see RGIII as the only sure fire answer while still others believe it should be Ryan Tannehill, Matt Flynn, or Peyton Manning.
There is very little common ground on the subject and it’s only likely to continue to separate as the free agent market opens and the draft day ticks closer and closer. For now, for those of you asking, it’s not in Miami’s best interest to go hard at Flynn and then Weedon in the draft. There simply isn’t enough time to let it play out.