2012 OTA All-Stars
Football has become a year round sport, but after the NFL Draft, there is a lot of down time before the season starts. With so many football starved fans, organized team activities and mini camps now become a big deal. This means consistent updates on what players have shown signs of brilliance in practice jerseys and shorts. Here are a few of the players that have been really turning heads up to this point.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns: The Browns surprised many by selecting the 28 year old Oklahoma State product in the first round this past draft. Just the other day there was an article on ESPN where the headline read “Weeden has the look of a franchise QB”. First off, if a team takes a quarterback in the first round, I sure hope he has the looks of a franchise quarterback. Secondly, Weeden certainly has all the intangibles, but it is impossible to give him this label just from a practice.
At Oklahoma State, Weeden’s offense was the spread where he made very quick reads, and was hardly touched. Consequently we were unable to really get a glimpse of his pocket presence. Until we see how he handles taking the ball from center with players such as James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley staring directly at him, it is just unfair to give him this hype.
Lestar Jean, WR, Texans: Jean came to the Texans last year as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic, and until he hurt his shoulder in a preseason game last year, he was going to make the team. Jean has turned heads again, and looks like the front runner for the team’s third receiver job. So what makes him a member of the OTA all stars and not just a great fantasy football sleeper? Look no further than wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey comparing All Pro receiver Andre Johnson and Jean to Jerry Rice and a young Terrell Owens. Jean has the potential to be a gem for the Texans, but comparing him to a future hall of famer when he has yet to catch an NFL pass is more than a little farfetched.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Vikings: Simpson got his first chance to start last year for the Bengals, and was pretty productive hauling in 50 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns. However, due to a NFL suspension that will make him miss the first three games of the 2012 season, Simpson was greeted by a soft market, and signed a one year deal for $2 million with the Vikings. Due to fact he has only gotten extensive playing time this past season, and the last few games of 2010, there are only a few things we know about Simpson. He is still raw but has excellent speed, and as evident by this play is extremely athletic. Since signing with the Vikings, everybody from general manager Rick Spielman to quarterback Christian Ponder has been singing his praises. The Vikings will have to wait a couple games to see if there investment paid off but if this is an indication, Simpson will be worth the wait.