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Weeden scrambles to avoid draft speculation

Brandon Weeden rarely watches ESPN these days. Same goes for the NFL Network.

Mostly, he sticks to the Golf Channel. No chance for a mock draft showing up on there.

A little more than a month before the draft, Weeden is doing the best he can to avoid the pundits and prognosticators who make a living forecasting the picks and critiquing the prospects.

"It's all speculation, but nobody has a clue what's going to happen," the Oklahoma State quarterback said. "I haven't watched ESPN since the Fiesta Bowl."

Though he admitted the Peyton Manning story forced him to check the all-sports network the past couple days. And he'll be on ESPN in the coming weeks. He was one of the quarterbacks to take part in a segment in which former coach and current Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden grills some of the top prospects.

With Manning landing in Denver, Weeden can probably scratch the Broncos off the list of teams that might draft him. Then again, if Denver deals Tim Tebow, it will need a backup for Manning. Of course, Weeden at 28, might not be the perfect quarterback of the future.

Now you see why Weeden wants no part of the what-if game, though that hasn't stopped others from bringing up the latest rumors to him, his wife, Melanie, and his parents.

His father, especially, hears a lot of them.

"He talks about it because people want to talk to him about it," Weeden said this week.

Melanie Weeden has taken an approach similar to her husband's, though every family member living in a city with an NFL team can't help but tell her, "Hey, I heard our team was talking to Brandon."

"I don't seek it out on my own," she said.

The next step in the draft process for Weeden, who passed for 9,004 yards and 71 touchdowns with 26 interceptions in two seasons as the Cowboys' starter, is meeting with teams individually.

One already has come to Stillwater, Okla. The team sent him a playbook a couple of days before the meeting for him to learn. He spent about 3 1/2 hours talking with coaches before getting on the field to show off his strong arm.

He's got a trip planned to visit a team on April 1, and another trip about 10 days later. He'd rather not say which teams.

It's not much different from a typical job interview - except he doesn't have to bring a resume.

"You try to get a feel for who they are, and they try to get a feel for who you are," he said.

Brandon and Melanie won't want to read this, but he seems to be solidifying his status as the fourth-best quarterback available in this draft.

Andrew Luck is a lock to be taken first by the Colts and the Redskins made a big trade with the Rams to move up to No. 2 and draft Robert Griffin III.

It's looking like Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill will be the next quarterback off the board, maybe in the first round.

There's been talk about Weeden being taken in the second half of the first round or fairly early in the second.

How about this a scenario: The Cleveland Browns take Weeden's Oklahoma State teammate, receiver Justin Blackmon, with the fourth overall pick and then take Weeden with their second first-round choice (No. 22) or their second-round pick.

That's the type of stuff the Weedens have been trying to avoid. No need to get worked up about theories and educated guesses.

Brandon and Melanie have been married for three years. They dated for 4 1/2 years before that and have known each other for 10 years total.

Both Oklahoma natives, they met through a mutual friend, and started dating when he was playing minor league baseball.

Even though he'd be away half the year, the long-distance relationship thrived.

Now they're preparing to move together.

"It really is exciting," she said. "We don't have kids so we can just pick up and go anywhere. There's always a fear of the unknown and once the draft comes it will go so quickly.

"But we're looking forward to picking up and moving to another city and seeing where life takes us."

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