With the drafting of Dwayne Haskins, Washington’s roster now appears to be replete with quarterbacks at various levels of health. Alex Smith is out indefinitely. Colt McCoy is recovering from his third off-season surgery. Case Keenum is, until I hear differently from Dr. Gruden, apparently healthy.
In order to have enough guys to throw balls in camp, the Redskins signed a quarterback from the AAF prior to the draft, and his name is Josh Woodrum. Woodrum would appear to have “a snowball’s chance” of making the Redskins roster in 2019, but then, I never expected to see Mark Sanchez or Josh Johnson behind center in 2018.
We try to be thorough here at Hogs Haven, so this is the player profile on the Redskins second-newest quarterback.
Josh Woodrum is in the middle of a long and arduous journey in his attempt to earn a living as a professional quarterback.
Back in February, I wrote an article about the new AAF, and towards the end, I talked briefly about the quarterbacks that I had seen on the opening weekend of the new league.
Remember that this was before the Case Keenum deal was promulgated, so Redskins fans were still facing the probability of Colt McCoy being options A, B and C at quarterback.
The concept is to fill the QB position cheaply in 2019, with the flexibility to welcome Alex Smith back in 2020 if he’s healthy enough to play, or to carry on without him if he isn’t. As I said, awkward.
I entered the weekend thinking that I might be able to write an article this week about another overlooked option for the Redskins. The front office could look to the developmental league — the AAF — as a source of a cheap but ready signal caller. Let the front office find the starting quarterback from the 8 guys playing, and offer him a vet minimum contract. All the Alliance players earn $250,000 for three seasons of play (2019, 20, 21), topping out at $100k in the ‘21 season. A $1m per year, 2-year non-guaranteed contract and a chance to play for the Redskins would represent a massive opportunity for any of these guys.
No other NFL team is in the unique situation the Redskins find themselves in, so this would be a virtually competition-free move. Grab a quarterback who’s in shape, in games, and talented enough to play professional football. Double down on the Josh Johnson decision.
Prior to the weekend, I was thinking Mike Bercovici of the San Diego Fleet would be a likely candidate. I remembered him from the show, Undrafted, and he seemed like a guy who might good enough to fill the bill. The first half of his game on Saturday was enough to change my mind.
What about the other starting quarterbacks from the weekend?
I then talked about 6 AAF quarterbacks.
One of them was Josh Woodrum:
Josh Woodrum - Salt Lake Stallions
6’3”, 231 pounds, Josh has spent time on the practice squads of 6 different NFL teams (two stints with the Ravens) in the past three seasons. He went 10-22 with one TD and one INT this weekend. Honestly, he played better than those statistics would indicate, but not good enough to make me want to see him play for the Redskins.
NBC Sports recently posted a short article aimed at giving readers a brief introduction to Josh Wodrum.
Here are three things to know about the 26-year-old.
1) He was at his best with the Ravens in 2017
This comes with the caveat, of course, that he has yet to appear in a real NFL game. With that being said, he did ball out for Baltimore in the 2017 exhibition portion.
Overall, he finished 25 of 36 for 321 yards and four total TDs. He was still cut before Week 1, but for someone who’s bounced around with other franchises like Giants, Bears, Colts, Browns and Bills, it was by far his best stretch.
2) He’s a former first-round pick... of the AAF QB Draft
OK, so he was undrafted by the NFL. When it comes to the AAF, though, Woodrum was a first-rounder.
Actually, “first-rounder” might be a better way to put it. The Stallions took him eighth overall (of eight teams) in the league’s four-round QB Draft.
In seven starts for Salt Lake, Woodrum completed just over 64 percent of his passes and posted a 6:8 TD-to-INT ratio. The team finished 3-5 before, well, the whole thing shut down.
3) He’s a local guy
Sure, it’s not like he’s from right down the road from the team’s headquarters, but Woodrum’s hometown is Roanoke, Va. and he played at Liberty University. Joining the Burgundy and Gold will be a quasi-homecoming for a QB who just spent a good chunk of time out in Utah.
Here’s a bonus fact, since you’ve made it this far into a Josh Woodrum blog: It looks like he likes the Chainsmokers. That means he should get a long-term deal immediately and probably also start in September, too.
247 Sports also published a short article about Josh that helps round out our understanding of his career to date.
Josh Woodrum last played for the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions. He completed 146-of-227 passes for 1,449 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Roanoke, VA., native is known for winning three-straight Big South Conference championships as the starting signal caller of the Liberty Flames, and played well enough to earn a trip to the 2016 NFL Combine.
The New York Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent, but he was released just days later. He saw similar short stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills, but never got any action in an NFL preseason game. That all changed in 2017, when the Baltimore Ravens gave him a shot. In four preseason games, he completed 25-of-36 passes for 321 yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. Unfortunately, he was released as part of final roster cuts.
Woodrum then had a four-day stint with the Cleveland Browns before he found himself again with the Ravens, this time on their practice squad. He was officially cut again however the following year.
A couple of months later was when he joined the AAF, but the league didn’t last long.
So far, it sounds like Josh Woodrum fits the classic definition of a “camp arm”. The Redskins, who, pre-draft, only had Alex Smith (IR), Colt McCoy (recovering from surgery), and Case Keenum on the roster at quarterback, needed someone to come in and throw the ball during mini-camp and training camp.
My expectation has been that he would not make it past the 4th game of the preseason.
But we don’t like to take too much for granted here at Hogs Haven, so I asked film analyst James FitzGerald to take a look at Josh’s work and offer his thoughts on whether the young man had more to offer than just a strong right arm in June, July and August.
Fitz’s film review
Film Watched: Salt Lake Stallions v. Arizona Hot Shots v. San Diego Fleet
Josh Woodrum has quick reads and releases; he is able to read the field quickly and make a decision. He is also not afraid to throw in tight windows. I saw him make some throws that were placed well in some pretty tight spots.
Woodrum is also fairly mobile and athletic on designed run plays.
He got into a good rhythm against the Fleet and was completing nice passes. When he gets into a good rhythm he can be a good quarterback.
However, he does have some weaknesses that explain why he was available to the Redskins.
His completion percentage, 64.2%, doesn’t tell the whole story of his accuracy. He constantly puts balls in bad spots that make it more difficult for wide receivers to catch them. Whether the ball was thrown to the wrong shoulder, too low, or too high, he rarely made it easy for his wide receivers. This bad placement caused a number of pass deflections and interceptions. I suspect his completion percentage is buffed up due to the Stallions calling a high amount of screens.
What I’m trying to say here is that Woodrum did not put his wide receivers in position to succeed. He rarely hits his receivers in stride, and at times, puts them in positions where they can get hit and hurt.
He also does not take chances downfield. Before week five of the AAF season, he had only nine 15+ yard pass attempts, and only two of them were completed. Maybe he wasn’t comfortable with his wide receivers or maybe he was afraid to throw it. It’s bad either way.
He also had more than a few mistakes throwing into double coverage. Which resulted in eight interceptions through the eight week season.
How does he fit with the Redskins?
Woodrum is an extra camp arm or practice squad QB at best. There are too many QBs as is, and they may only carry two into the regular season. There is no real fit for him on the roster.
I predict he will be cut as soon as the Redskins don’t need him around as a spare thrower.
What is Josh’s ultimate 2019 fate with the Redskins?
This poll is closed
Cut prior to training camp
Cut at the end of preseason
Signed to the Redskins’ practice squad
Carried as QBX (the Redskins 3rd [non-IR/PUP] quarterback) on the regular season roster