One of the more difficult things to watch in recent weeks has been the plummeting of the draft status of Andre Woodson. Immediately after the LSU game this fall, there was talk that Dre’ could end up being the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft and the likelihood of superstardom seemed certain. Now Andre has moved off the first round of nearly everyone’s board, is no longer in the running for top QB taken, and is likely to be the 4th QB named on draft day. The question becomes, what gives? A couple of things have truly done Andre in. First, he had a bad Senior Bowl week, where various scouts saw things they didnt like about his throwing delivery and his decision making. HE had a very poor Senior Bowl itself, with a couple of silly turnovers and decisions that left the scouts shaking their heads. Then he was injured during the Combine, keeping him from improving his stock or shaking some of the lingering doubts about his abilities. He rebounded a bit with a good Pro Day at Kentucky and it looked as if he might be back on course. But then his Wonderlic score came out (the test that supposedly measures players’ intelligence) and it was painfully low, lower than any of the other major quarterback contenders for this year’s selection. So the negativity has continued and leaves some wondering whether Woodson could drop as far as off the First Day of the draft.
Andre’s plight has led to a lot of conversation in the NFL blog world. Many are like me and simply cant understand how scouts can seem so down on a guy who looked so good during the season. This is a young man who led Kentucky to victories over eventual national champion LSU, Louisville when we thought they were good and Arkansas. Add to that, epic close games versus Florida and Tennessee and you wonder how a person who took a program that had been so low, so high in achievement, could be dropping in the eyes of scouts. Right now the prevailing thought is that Andre is a potential gold mine, but that some team will have to reach out and take a chance on him to make it happen. The Chicago Bears are said to love the kid and whereas he was once considered to be their first pick, he may end up being their selection in the 2nd or 3rd Round. Other teams are eyeing Woodson as well, confident of a guy who likely has the strongest arm of any Quarterback in the draft.
As a fan, it can be frustrating to watch a guy with so much talent who has done so well in college, fall right before the draft because of a series of workouts. But that is how this game goes and the NFL Draft, more than any other enterprise, is all about “projecting” and what you “can do at the next level.” I think Woodson projects wonderfully to the next level….but in order to show that, the freefall from the potential top pick needs to slow down.