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February 23, 2008

Woodson continues to see stock fall

MORE: Rivals.com coverage from the NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS - When the NFL Draft season kicked off in January, Kentucky quarterback Andre' Woodson was considered a sure-fire first-round pick by most experts.

When practices began at last month's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Woodson was actually considered the top quarterback in the game when Boston College's Matt Ryan and Louisville's Brian Brohm opted not to play.

However, as Senior Bowl week progressed, Woodson's throwing motion and mechanics were questioned by many of the scouts and analysts in Mobile.

Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com said there are a lot of things he likes about Woodson, but there is no doubt a drop off when you compare him to Ryan and Brohm.

ANDRE' WOODSON FILE

Name: Andre Woodson
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6 feet 5
Weight: 224 pounds
College: Kentucky
High school: Radcliff (Ken.) North Hardin
Fact: Woodson was a highly rated four-star quarterback out of high school, and at one time in his recruitment he nearly switched his commitment to Tennessee.
Rivals.com projection: Second or third round.
"A lot of people might like him, but he's starting to be looked at as more of a long-term project," Coyle said. "His delivery's big. I think there's some real strength work Woodson needs. For a kid who's 6-5, he does not drive the ball down the field. You've got to fire the ball down on those 15-yard outs, really drive it. I don't see that. I see Woodson as a really interesting prospect.

"If Woodson was in a setting where he played early, he'd be a disaster. If you put him in a situation where you let him sit and develop for two years or work his way up there in two years, then I think you could have a nice player."

At this week's Combine in Indianapolis, Woodson will not take part in any of the physical testing or throwing drills.

Woodson tweaked his hamstring at the Senior Bowl, so he said on Friday that he didn't want to risk having a bad performance because of the injury. Woodson's main draft workout will be Kentucky's Pro Day on Mar. 5. Woodson said because of the fact he won't be working out in Indianapolis, he knows his Pro Day workout will decide most of his draft fate.

"It's going to make it big," Woodson said. "There, fortunately, I'm going to be throwing to receivers that I'm very familiar with. I obviously know all of them and I know exactly how they are running routes. That way I can show how strong my arm is and how accurate I am. I think that was one of the negative things about being down at the Senior Bowl. I was throwing with guys I just met for the first time, and we were throwing a timing system. That doesn't really work out with guys you just met."

When Woodson hears the criticism about his throwing mechanics, he said it's something he will continue to block out.

Woodson has been working with quarterback instructors Marc Trestman and Tom Shaw, and he said neither of them has told him to change his mechanics.

"They both said I have a really good delivery and really good balance and footwork, I just have to continue to do the best job I can of improving as much as possible," Woodson said. "For the most part, they didn't feel like there was a lot that needs to be fixed."

ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper said the reason why Woodson's stock has dropped is because of his slow release and the fact he has a hitch at the top of his delivery.

Kiper also said Woodson didn't grade out as good late in the season as he did early.

"I started dropping his grade in November," Kiper said. "I moved him out of the first round and into the second round. I thought his stock dropped in November to the point he was no longer a first-round pick."

Woodson won't get much of a chance to prove his critics wrong in Indianapolis, but he's looking forward to the opportunity to have a strong workout at his Pro Day in March.

"You just have to do a great job of what you can improve on and what you can polish up on," Woodson said. "For me, it's my mechanics. I can continue to do a better job of just trying to clean it up and trying to do a better job on my release.

"For the most part, all you can do is just do a great job and go out there and compete. When it's time to go out there and perform, just go out there and play your game and don't worry about it."

MORE: Rivals.com coverage from the NFL Scouting Combine



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