Most of the early attention this offseason has been on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but two other rookie quarterbacks were taken in the first round of April's draft and could see the field a bunch in 2012. Who will have more success this fall, Ryan Tannehill (the Miami Dolphins' No. 8 overall selection) or Brandon Weeden (Cleveland Browns, 22nd pick)?
Brandon Weeden will enjoy more success, and the reason is simple: He will get the ball right from Game 1. The Browns drafted the rookie/veteran (he turns 29 in October) to take charge of the team and hopefully stabilize a quarterback position that had been in constant flux.
Ryan Tannehill will have more success, mostly by sitting on the bench. Brandon Weeden is likely to start from Week 1 in the toughest defensive division in football, with one of the worst wide receiver groups in the league on his side. He is set up for crushing failure.
I don't expect Tannehill to play before December. Like Jake Locker with the Tennessee Titans last year, he'll benefit from sitting and learning. When Tannehill gets some playing time later, he'll be more prepared to perform.
In my mind, there's no question Brandon Weeden will have more success than Ryan Tannehill, but that's really by default. Based on the situation, I think Weeden will be the Browns' starter. And given his age and starting experience, he's bound to have some success.
I am not sure either one will have a ton of success. Brandon Weeden should be the starter on opening day for the Browns, while Ryan Tannehill might not see action until later in the season. I thought Weeden was a superior player in college. He saw the field a little better and was a little more consistent. Tannehill has the bigger upside because he's younger and more athletic, but he's spent less time on the job as a quarterback, having played receiver during his first two seasons at Texas A&M.
At the end of the day, I look for Weeden to have more success as a rookie than Tannehill. Weeden is going to get more reps in training camp, and I think his age will be an asset as he goes through his rookie year. The Browns described him to me as a "pro." This is a reference to the maturity he gained as a professional minor-league baseball player.
- Jason Smith NFL.com
Better question: Which guy will struggle less?
I think a better question would be "Which QB will struggle less?" because they're both in for rough seasons. Tannehill is a project. With what they've seen so far, the Dolphins are tempering expectations (meaning he hasn't looked good at all). He could be in for a Blaine Gabbert-type season, and really might not see the field unless he makes a light-year jump, which looks to be out of the question.
Weeden is coming in better-equipped to handle a pro offense. He also has a bell cow to hand the ball to in Trent Richardson and a pretty good receiver in Greg Little. So he has some weapons to ease the pressure. Problem is, he's in a division where the other three defenses are all top-10 units in the NFL. (Look out!) Instead of becoming a star, getting a shoe deal and winning games, let's define "success" as learning on the job, improving and showing there might be a light at the end of the tunnel that's not Ray Lewis in a visiting white jersey. I'll go with Weeden.
There is a surprise team every season ... Why not the Browns in 2012? The defense has been ready to go for years -- it's just been waiting for the offense to arrive. Well, it will this season, thanks to Brandon Weeden, along with some other talented rookies, like Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon.
Considering he's only a year-and-a-half younger than three-time Super Bowl starter Ben Roethlisberger, Brandon Weeden has no time to waste. Fortunately for the big-armed Cowboy and the Browns offense overall, Mike Holmgren has provided some pieces for immediate success. Greg Little will build on his promising 2011 season and become a legitimate No. 1 receiver, while speedy supplemental draft pick Josh Gordon ought to at least be able to take the top off the defense. Throw in premium talents like Trent Richardson and Joe Thomas, and suddenly it looks like the future is now for the Browns. Well, OK, not now ... but soon. At least, Weeden should hope so -- he's not getting any younger.
In the meantime, Miami head coach Joe Philbin will be doing Ryan Tannehill a favor by making David Garrard and/or Matt Moore the Dolphins' starting sacrificial lamb (quarterback) this season. Let's be honest: That team's going to stink worse than the Dumpster behind a South Beach seafood restaurant in July.