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Best and Worst Case Scenarios for Cleveland Browns Rookie QB Brandon Weeden

By Beardandstache @BeardAndStache

Best and Worst Case Scenarios for Cleveland Browns Rookie QB Brandon Weeden

Photo: AP Images

- Troy Ballard

The Cleveland Browns took a big gamble at No. 22 in the NFL Draft by selecting former Oklahoma State stand-out quarterback Brandon Weeden -- and the team is hoping for the jackpot.
It's not that Weeden doesn't possess the skill set needed to play at the next level, because he most certainly does, it's the fact that he's 28-years-old.
Drafting a player older than 22 in the first-round of the draft is almost unheard of, and drafting a player over 25 at all in the draft is incredibly rare.
Weeden is a unique prospect.
The Browns have entered a situation where Weeden is too old to sit on the bench and mature, but the question is still up in the air as to whether or not he can succeed in the NFL.
Presumably, due to Colt McCoy's struggles, Weeden will be handed the starting job. Giving him the starting role only makes sense, due to his age, his draft selection, and McCoy's inconsistencies as a starter.
Saying that Weeden does get that starting job, what are the best and worst case scenarios for him as a rookie next season?
Ok, the absolute worst-worst-worst case scenario would be that Weeden doesn't get the starting job. But this is really unlikely given the aforementioned reasons. If for some reason McCoy keeps the starting job and Weeden is designated to the bench, the season can be chalked-up as a total loss.
The more realistic scenario is that Weeden is handed the ball as a starter week one against the Philadelphia Eagles. Following the Philly game, the Browns have an absolutely rigorous schedule, and Weeden will not only be tested, but also stretched thin every single week.
With not catching any breaks in the schedule, Weeden will struggle finding open receivers, trip and stumble trying to take the ball from under center, have a false sense of pressure, have complications handing the ball off to Trent Richardson, and will essentially be able to check off every box on the Rookie QB Mess-Up Sheet.
With his struggles, the Browns will trip and fall through the entire 2012 season and finish, yet again, with a high draft pick. Possibly, a pick high enough to draft USC's Matt Barkley. Cleveland's front office loses confidence in Weeden, and makes a move to replace him.
After being designated to the bench by the Browns, he muddles through his career never getting a real chance at a starting job ever again.
That, along with not getting or losing the starting job, would be the worst.


* Disclosure - the best segment of this article is curtailed to the Browns specifically 
The absolute best-best-best case scenario for the Browns and Weeden would be Rookie of the Year, Pro-Bowl designations, a winning record, a playoff appearance, and a Super Bowl win down the line. But let's not jump the gun -- we are still talking about Cleveland.
Again, let's say that Weeden is handed the starting role. Given the Browns tough schedule, he is given a new test every week, and unlike most rookies, he keeps his composure and fills a much-needed leadership role in Cleveland. He is able to respond to scout's fears by perfecting his drop-back from under center, develops a good rapport with his receivers, nails the hand-offs with Richardson, and leads the Browns to a respectable record.
That respectable record for Cleveland -- .500. That would mark a major shift in moving forward for the franchise, and although other teams laugh at the idea, breaking or keeping at .500 would be huge for the Browns.
After this season, Weeden continues to grow and develop as the Browns add talent around him, and eventually, Cleveland breaks the playoff barrier. Depending on how his individual numbers look, Weeden could even sneak his way into a Pro-Bowl.
Do I think that the Browns are going to win a Super Bowl with Weeden? No. Do I think Cleveland could get the franchise back on the right track with him under center? Yes.
Weeden has the potential to be a franchise quarterback, and if he adjusts to the NFL like he should, then he could pay huge dividends for the Browns. His age is a cause for concern, but Cleveland can still five or six good years out of him to get the team back in the right direction.
Keep an eye on Weeden -- he has that potential to do big things.

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