Commentary

Rookie Watch: Weeden rebounds

Three QBs make latest top 10; Griffin III still No. 1 overall?

Originally Published: September 19, 2012
By Matt Williamson | ESPN.com
Brandon Weeden has yet to make my top 10, but he did play well against the Bengals in Week 2.

So what does this tell us about the Browns' quarterback? When he has time and open receivers, he will complete passes -- and look good doing so. Against the Bengals in Week 2, Weeden's receivers were consistently open and Cincinnati offered very little pass rush. The Bengals' pass defense is pretty bad.

Week 1 was a different story, though. The Eagles' pass defense is pretty good. Philadelphia abused Cleveland's receivers with press man coverage and consistently pressured Weeden with one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. Philadelphia will torment a lot of quarterbacks and passing games this season. But few quarterbacks will play as horribly as Weeden did in Week 1. Hey, that was the rookie's first game in the NFL against a very difficult matchup and with his stud running back also just getting acclimated to this level. So Week 1 very well could be the worst game that Weeden plays as a professional.

My concern in the big picture is Weeden's penchant for staring down his primary receiver and his inability to move well in or out of the pocket. He has a lot of work to do, which isn't uncommon for rookie signal-callers. But most rookie signal-callers are not Weeden's age (28).

Still, if Weeden continues his strong play, his name will soon appear on the list below.

To see the rest of Matt Williamson's rankings of the top NFL rookies, you must be an ESPN Insider.