Despite bombing test, Young still an impressive talent
Posted: Monday February 27, 2006 7:12PM; Updated: Tuesday February 28, 2006 3:26PM
While Vince Young may have bombed the Wonderlic test, one thing is certain: He went 30-2 as a starter at Texas.
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You'll have to pardon my confusion. It's just that I recently emerged from a seven-week hibernation that began the day after the Rose Bowl, and I can't figure out how, in that time, Vince Young went from being the nation's reigning football hero to a plummeting draft prospect who supposedly can't run, can't throw, can't catch, can't dress himself, can't sing, doesn't know the Dewey decimal system and, based on last weekend's combine Wonderlic bombshell, can't read or write, either.
Our society in general has an obsession with tearing down those at the top, but the great Vince Young dismantling of 2006 is on its way to setting a new land-speed record. They'd barely had time to clean up the confetti in Pasadena before the first whispers began -- about his unconventional throwing motion (with which he must have accidentally completed 65 percent of his passes last season), about his inability to throw the deep ball (I must have imagined that 75-yard touchdown I saw him throw at last year's Texas Tech game), how he'll be lost when he doesn't get to line up in the shotgun every snap like he did in college (Drew Brees must not be having the same problem). By the time word spread of his so-so showing at a college all-star skills competition in late January, the pundits had officially ruled out any chance of the Texans taking him No. 1. By the time Young, who went 30-2 as a starter at Texas, showed up at the White House without a suit two weeks ago, he'd been passed up in most mock drafts by Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler -- a guy who went 11-34.
And that was before Young got to the dreaded Wonderlic. There are only about eight billion conflicting reports out there right now as to what exactly took place in Indianapolis this weekend -- that Young scored a disastrous 6 out of 50, retook it and got a 16, that the first test wasn't graded properly, that his agent inexplicably failed to tell him about this part of the combine, that the first score was legit and the retake was part of an NFL cover-up of its embarrassment at letting the score leak in the first place. Either way, 6 or 16, Young bombed. There's no sugar-coating that. While plenty of elite prospects over the years have done similarly poorly and not had it affect their draft status, the NFL cognoscenti say they hold quarterbacks to a different standard. They're understandably reluctant to hand their playbook over to a guy who can't figure out which is the ninth month of the year.
And so, as word of the disastrous test score made the rounds among scouts and GMs in Indy, Young began free-falling down draft boards faster than Bode Miller's marketability. Soon he will be slotted into a sixth-round spot right between the backup left tackle at Stanford and an unknown semipro receiver in Bentonville, Ark., who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a scout who says the kid has "tremendous upside."