Mike Giardi

Undersized, overperforming Woodside could be a late-round gem

Undersized, overperforming Woodside could be a late-round gem

The final installment of a five-part series looking at quarterbacks - and possible heirs to Tom Brady as the starter - the Patriots could draft. 

PREVIOUSLY IN THE SERIES:

I’ll just come out and say this right off the top: I am a fan of Logan Woodside. The Toledo quarterback has a little magic in him. Just pop in the tape of the Rockets' loss to the University of Miami. That was when the Hurricanes were in the middle of their climb into the top five in the entire country. All Woodside did that day was chuck three touchdowns passes to no interceptions while completing 28 of 48 throws. Yes, Toledo ended up losing, but did lead 16-10 at the half. That’s a MAC school that was doing that. 

The first thing that catches your eyes about Woodside is his quick release. The ball comes out cleanly and quickly, often times with good anticipation. It’s that release that allows the slight quarterback - Woodside is just 6-1, 202 pounds - to put the ball into places you wouldn’t think he’d be able and to throw receivers open, a pretty important trait in the NFL.

Then there are those feet. Woodside ran an offense that had a fair share of RPOs (run/pass options) and deftly handled the football and has the footwork needed in those situations. He showed a willingness to stand in the pocket in the face of the rush but could slide side-to-side or step up and still deliver the ball with accuracy.

There’s no stat that measures another one of Woodside’s strengths but it’s real. The kid fights. He’s had to do it throughout his career. He lost his job not just once, but twice at Toledo but still emerged to become an All-MAC performer in his final two seasons and lead the Rockets to their first league title in more than a decade. That part of his makeup is real and it’s spectacular. 

Of course, it’s going to be hard for coaches and GMs to get past Woodside’s lack of size. While there are a few shorter, slighter QBs who have had or are having terrific NFL careers - Drew Brees and Russell Wilson jump to mind immediately - there isn’t a long list. Based on his size alone, Woodside will fall down many a draft board.

Then there’s the arm. It’s not great. The release helps make up for it but it's a measurable that will be held against Woodside. The tape also reveals it, especially on balls outside the numbers. Toledo would help mitigate some of those issues by putting Woodside on the move. That’s not a common element in many NFL offenses. Woodside would also try and make up for it himself but that led to some overstriding which then hurt accuracy. He’s spent the winter and spring working on marrying the lower half to his very sound upper half and if Toledo’s pro day was any indication, there was progress made but that still bears watching.

So, what will it take to pluck Woodside in the draft? Well, he’s a third-day guy at best and there remains the possibility that he could go undrafted. I personally don’t think that will be the case, but I’m not controlling any draft boards. I could see him being a fit for the Pats in either the sixth (pick 210) or the seventh round (pick 219). Hey Bill, take my advice on this one and just make the call. You’ll thank me later.

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Player: Butler benching 'wasn't without merit'

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Player: Butler benching 'wasn't without merit'

In the wake of Malcolm Butler's interview with Sports Illustrated, I texted a couple of current Patriots for their reaction to Butler's recent comments. Their responses were interesting: