A lot of the talk during Shrine Game week out of practice was how impressive former Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty was, overshadowing guys from Power 5 schools and showing that the game might be a way to improve his draft stock significantly.
Then, the game was played, and Doughty ended each of the first two drives he led with interceptions. Here's the first pick, when Doughty targeted Illinois' Geronimo Allison on what looked like some sort of hook route.
Yikes. Yes, at first it looks bad all around. But watch it a few more times, and it becomes less bad. First of all, that ball was suuuuuper wobbly. Okay, that might not be the best thing to point at to take the sting out of the interception. But bear with me.
One of the things that I've always loved about Doughty is how poised he is in the pocket. And, yes, a lot of that is due to the protection he had (especially in 2015), he didn't seem to necessarily rush anything here - he kept his poise and took the hit, knowing he was going to get smashed.
Second...no wait, that's basically it. Anthony Harrell made a nice jump on the ball, and you know what, a quarterback is going to throw interceptions every now and then.
Okay, a couple of things on Doughty's second interception: 1.) it went for a pick six. Not good. But 2.) I'm not going to place that pick entirely on Doughty. Oh, also, he was targeting Allison again. Thanks for nothing, Illinois.
And, would you look at that, its another former Gator, Brian Poole, to make the play. So, how is this play on Doughty? Well, while I wouldn't go so far as to say he rushed the ball to Allison, he did seem to put it juuuuuuuuust out of his reach.
However, Allison does seem to get his hands on it, and it looks as if Poole is able to just wrestle it away (a la Wonderful Terry against, you guessed it, Illinois in 2013. However, he wrestled the ball away from Malik Turner) before sprinting down the length of the field.
When it was all said and done, Doughty totaled just 87 yards on 11/17 passing, with no touchdowns and the pair of turnovers. A rough day at the office for WKU's greatest quarterback of all time.
Now, the natural question is - how much does this performance hurt Doughty's draft stock? I'm going to go so far as to say he didn't hurt his own draft stock as much as he helped Vernon Adams', who tossed three touchdowns on just six completions.
I've been on record saying, multiple times, that I don't think Doughty will cut it as an NFL quarterback. The more I think about past, younger, sillier me, I laugh. I think, with the right tools (coaches, weapons, etc.), he could become something special. Who knows, he might be the next Tom Brady.
But, I'm still not sold on him being a 3rd-5th round pick. I think, if he does get picked, it'll be late 6th or early 7th round. I would have said that before Saturday, and I'm sticking to it now. I do think there's a better chance of him getting drafted than picked up as an undrafted free agent (hell, Kawaun Jakes was a UFA selection for the Jaguars in 2013), but as for being any sort of mid-round draft buster...yea, we might have to wait a bit for that.