Read any scouting report on Brandon Weeden, and they'll all have almost unanimous agreement that he has all the attributes of a stellar QB prospect: Big arm, good accuracy, intelligence, mechanics, leadership, and other intangibles. The one and only knock on him, which Weeden even acknowledged at the Combine, is that he's 28 years of age:
That's really the only knock on me is my age. I have fun with it. And here's the fact, I can't change it. I can change a lot of things, my footwork, throwing motion, release. I can't change my birth certificate. I wish I could pull a Danny Almonte, but I can't do it.
I happen to be a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm 34 years old. If I'm lucky enough to have a long, healthy life, I'll be an Eagles fan for the next 50 or so years. As such, whenever the Eagles draft a player in the first round, I envision them playing for my team for the next decade plus. I think we all do. In the 2011 draft, the Eagles selected Danny Watkins, a player that will be well into his 30's when his rookie contract expires. On draft night last year, I did not approve.
However, unless you're a bandwagon fan, there's a good chance your life expectancy of following a particular team is going to last far, far longer than the folks making your team's personnel decisions.
Of the 32 NFL head coaches, the average number of years completed with their current team is a staggeringly low 3.7 years. The harsh reality of the NFL is... You better win... as in right now... or you're gone.
But GM's typically last longer though, right? Yes, they do, but not that much longer. The average number of years completed by the 32 NFL GM's (the Pats don't have a "true GM") is 5.3 years. Take Jerry Jones andout of the equation, two GM's that would have been fired several times over if they didn't own their teams, and that average number drops to just 4.2 years.
The dynamics of who actually is making decisions varies from team to team, but here's how long the GM and head coach has been in place on your team:
|Cowboys||Jerry Jones||23||Jason Garrett||1|
|Bengals||Mike Brown||21||Marvin Lewis||9|
|Cardinals||Rod Graves||15||Ken Whisenhunt||5|
|Steelers||Kevin Colbert||12||Mike Tomlin||5|
|Saints||Mickey Loomis||10||Sean Peyton||6|
|Panthers||Marty Hurney||10||Ron Rivera||1|
|Ravens||Ozzie Newsome||9||John Harbaugh||4|
|Chargers||AJ Smith||9||Norv Turner||5|
|Packers||Ted Thompson||7||Mike McCarthy||6|
|Texans||Rick Smith||6||Gary Kubiak||6|
|Jets||Mike Tannenbaum||6||Rex Ryan||3|
|Giants||Jerry Reese||5||Tom Coughlin||8|
|Falcons||Thomas Dimitroff||4||Mike Smith||4|
|Dolphins||Jeff Ireland||4||Joe Philbin||0|
|Patriots||Floyd Reese*||3||Bill Belichick||12|
|Lions||Martin Mayhew||3||Jim Schwartz||3|
|Broncos||Brian Xanders||3||John Fox||1|
|Buccaneers||Mark Dominik||3||Greg Schiano||0|
|Jaguars||Gene Smith||3||Mike Mularkey||0|
|Chiefs||Scott Pioli||3||Romeo Crennel||0|
|Eagles||Howie Roseman||2||Andy Reid||13|
|Seahawks||John Schneider||2||Pete Carroll||2|
|Redskins||Bruce Allen||2||Mike Shanahan||2|
|Bills||Buddy Nix||2||Chan Gailey||2|
|Browns||Tom Heckert||2||Pat Shurmur||1|
|49ers||Trent Baalke||1||Jim Harbaugh||1|
|Bears||Phil Emery||0||Lovie Smith||8|
|Vikings||Rick Speilman||0||Leslie Frazier||1|
|Titans||Ruston Webster||0||Mike Munchak||1|
|Rams||Les Snead||0||Jeff Fisher||0|
|Colts||Ryan Grigson||0||Chuck Pagano||0|
|Raiders||Reggie McKenzie||0||Dennis Allen||0|
Would a GM/coach prefer to draft an excellent prospect that's 23 years old as opposed to 28? No question. But if they think they can win with the 28 year old, and potentially sooner than later, you can be downright certain that a number of decision makers care a hell of a lot less about the player's age than you and me.