Draft Analysis: Andre' Woodson, QB, Kentucky Wildcats
by Richard Garcia
on April 11, 2008 @ 10:49:00
Former University of Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Andre' Woodson enrolled in 2003 after turning down scholarship offers from Tennessee and Penn State. After he redshirted in '03, Woodson went on to start from 2005 through his senior season in '07. However, it wasn't until '06 that he would have a breakout season. He completed 63 percent of his passes for a Southeastern Conference-best 3,515 yards and threw for 31 touchdowns. He would later be voted the Most Valuable Player that season by his Wildcat teammates after leading them to a Music City Bowl victory over Clemson University. It broke Kentucky's streak of 22 years without a bowl win.
Woodson surpassed his 2006 numbers in his senior season), completing 63.1 percent of his passes. His 40 touchdown passes as a senior surpassed that of Tim Couch (37) for the school record and Florida's Danny Wuerffel (39 in 1996) for the conference record. He would go on that year to lead the Wildcats to a second consecutive Music City Bowl victory - this time against Florida State.
Woodson attempted 325 consecutive passes without an interception from 2006-07, breaking the old NCAA record held by Trent Dilfer (271) when he was with Fresno State in 1993. Woodson didn't take home any major awards after his senior season, but he was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the country's most outstanding senior passer, and a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback. The team voted Woodson as the team's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season.
Woodson has been praised for his excellent size and towering presence. He did not participate in any of the drills at the NFL Scouting Combine because of a pulled hamstring but measured in at 6-foot-4, weighing 229 pounds. Woodson has also been noted for his strong arm, which he showed off during Kentucky's Pro Day. At the event, he continued to hit receivers in stride and was able to showcase his arm strength with his uncanny ability to throw the deep ball.
He is a quarterback that can move around in the pocket and make throws while on the move. Woodson has proven that he is a good decision-maker and can keep his poise while under pressure. The coaching staff displayed its confidence in Woodson by giving him the freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.
Woodson has the size, physical tools and mental toughness to develop into a fine professional quarterback. Outside of the hamstring injury he had prior to the combine, Woodson has been relatively injury-free in his four years on the field at Kentucky. He recorded a decent 40 time of 4.85 during Kentucky's March 5 Pro Day.
Woodson is coming off an average Senior Bowl performance. He was relatively effective in limited game action with three completions in six attempts for one touchdown, but he often looked overwhelmed under pressure. NFL scouts have been critical of a hitch in his release, which has also been deemed long and exaggerated. Analysts fear his slow release could give defenders extra time to catch up to the developing play.
Scouts have been critical of his ability to take charge in the huddle. He has a tendency to hold on to the ball longer than needed and takes too many sacks if his primary target isn't open; he needs to learn to throw the ball away and not focus on just one target.
Despite his mobility in the pocket, scouts have criticized his footwork, which they claim hinders him from buying himself more time. He was sacked at least 30 times in each of his three years as a starter. He is considered by some to have merely average athletic ability.
Expected Draft Placement
Woodson was considered to be a first-round selection going into his senior season. However, a mediocre Senior Bowl performance and his inactivity at the combine have dropped him in the eyes of some scouts to as low as a fourth-round selection. He could fall anywhere between Rounds 2 and 4 based on how other teams rate the University of Delaware's Joe Flacco and the University of Michigan's Chad Henne; Woodson would be a suitable choice in Round 3. One possible destination for Woodson is the Carolina Panthers, who tried unsuccessfully to find an adequate backup for Jake Delhomme (elbow) last season when they signed David Carr, whom they recently released. The Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs are some other teams that could take Woodson with a middle-round selection.
About Richard Garcia
Garcia served as a managing editor for KFFL. Prior to his time with KFFL, Richard worked in managerial roles with both Frito-Lay Inc. and UPS. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from California State Polytechnic University-Pomona and fulfilled his internship requirements with the Los Angeles Kings Hockey organization in 2001.
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