ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A lot has been made of Brandon Weeden’s age, “and rightfully so,” the Oklahoma State quarterback said.
After all, he’s 28 — the same age as Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.
Weeden called it the only red flag he has when asked if he would be rated even higher if he were 22.
“It’s a tough question to answer,” he said at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. “I feel like all these great quarterbacks, I belong in the middle with all of them. If I was a few years younger, you never know. Maybe I’d go a little higher, but I don’t think on draft day it’s going to be that big of an issue.”
The age issue doesn't bother Weeden as much these days. He admitted that it used to get under his skin, but he realizes now he shouldn't worry about what he can't change.
When he was 18 years old, Weeden was selected in the second round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft by the New York Yankees.
Weeden, a pitcher, said the selection came as a shock -- because the Yankees hadn't shown him any interest leading up to the draft.
He's taking that as a lesson with the 2012 NFL Draft coming up.
"Everybody has their speculations on where you'll go, and it's so hard to say because I've been there before," he said. "I was drafted by the Yankees, and they were the only team that didn't come into the house.
"It only takes one team. You never know who that team is going to be, and I think I'll be a good fit for whoever decides to take me."
But perspective on the draft process wasn't the only thing Weeden gained from his career as a professional baseball player.
The Oklahoma State quarterback said the maturity that comes from being 28 and having gone through one professional career already makes him ready to handle the role of an NFL starter, both physically and mentally.
“From a maturity standpoint, I’ve already been a pro,” Weeden said. “That’s what I’ve been telling teams and they agree with me. I think that’s the maturity factor that really helps me have an opportunity to play right away if I needed to.”
At Oklahoma State, Weeden threw for 9,260 yards and 75 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions.
And perhaps most importantly, in addition to his production, he maintained his health throughout his collegiate career.
"You look back at my time at Oklahoma State, I didn't get hit," he said. "My body's extremely fresh. No injuries. I'm healthy. Everything's good. I think I've got a lot left in my tank."
And if that's not enough, Weeden pointed to a number of quarterbacks who had the majority of their success in the NFL in their later years.
Roger Staubach, you've got Kurt Warner, I can go on -- you've got Rich Gannon. Think of it, there's a lot of guys," he said. "Those guys played into their late 30s. A ten-year career in the NFL is a great career, and I think I've got every bit of that.
"Barring any injury, I think I can play for a long time."