Cosell Talks: The Other Quarterbacks of 2012 Part 3

From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Greg Cosell, Inside the Game

This is Part 3 of Greg Cosell’s 3-part analysis on other quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.

Brandon Weeden: When Weeden has time and functional space to deliver the ball comfortably, he’s the purest and best pocket passer in this draft class. He has outstanding lower-body mechanics; he was balanced with his left knee flexed at the proper angle, and he drove off his back foot with excellent weight transfer and core body torque. He was a short strider, which made him deliver the ball taller than his 6-foot-3½. You could make the argument that Weeden was a robotic player, in a positive way. He repeated his fundamentals throw after throw.

Brandon Weeden (AP)

He was particularly good on seam throws, and they’re not easy. They require a delicate combination of touch, to get the ball over the underneath defender, and firm but not powerful velocity, to prevent the safety from factoring in to the throw. Weeden made many of those throws. Overall, he threw with a nice balance of touch and velocity, and his ball location was consistently precise. All those attributes translate well to the NFL.

Of course, in the NFL, the ideal scenario of a comfortable, secure pocket does not happen quite as often as quarterbacks would like. You must be able to function effectively in the eye of the storm or you won’t play on Sundays. That’s where Weeden had some problems. The sample was small, given how well he was protected, but it was there nonetheless. When blitzed, Weeden struggled with both recognition and execution. Mentally, there were times he panicked, and physically, he did not exhibit the kind of subtle pocket movement that must be part of a pocket passer’s game in the NFL.

For more thoughts from Greg Cosell, follow him on Twitter at @gregcosell.

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