Drew Hodgdon, the former ASU center, was picked in the 5th round (151st overall) by the AFC South Houston Texans who finished 7-9 last season and were considered one of the surprise NFL teams in 2004.
"It feels great," said Hodgdon about being drafted by Houston. "I'm thrilled to be part of the organization and I'm anxious to get down there and start working. They're obviously an up and coming franchise, and it's exciting to see the direction they're going in and playing for a team like that. They have beautiful facilities there and in talking to the coaches they are really passionate about what they do."
The ex-Sun Devil said that his versatility is an attribute that was attractive to his new team and that may help him in gaining some early playing time. "The center they have down there is a veteran," Hodgdon commented, "and I guess they wanted someone to come and be his protégé and try to spark some competition. They told me that they were looking for a guy that can play both center and guard, and I imagine they wouldn't lock me into one position or another. But they're probably thinking of me more so as a center."
Many perceive the NFL draft as an unpredictable event, and Hodgdon can speak first hand of this. In an earlier interview to Devils Digest he mentioned the Vikings, Bills, Panthers, Lions, and the 49ers as the teams that showed the most interest in him. So how do the Texans come in and pick him?
"I can definitely say that they showed less interest than other teams (laughs)," he said. "So I was surprised. The teams that really seemed to be interested in me obviously didn't take me. But I was prepared for that because a lot of my friends in the NFL told me that's what happens."
While Hodgdon is very content with the situation he's in right now, he admitted that he wasn't fond of the waiting game he had to endure. "It's frustrating to see guys that go before you that you don't believe have the same value as you," he remarked. "The hardest part is just sitting there watching time go by, and for whatever reason you haven't been picked yet. But 2/3 of the guys playing at the next level got drafted after the fourth round. So the people that compete aren't necessarily the people that go the earliest. So I really don't care about where I got drafted."
Hodgdon did get to talk to the person who took snaps from him the majority of the 2004 season, and reported that Andrew Walter was happy to be an Oakland Raider. "He was very pleased," said Hodgdon. "He's obviously an ultra-competitive guy and wants to be perceived as the best pick. He knows it's where you go not when you go, and he's very pleased to be in that situation with Oakland."
Now that the NFL draft is completed, Drew Hodgdon looks back with amazement at what has transpired the last few months of his life. "(Laughs) It's just a circus!" he exclaimed. "It's absolutely the most stressful experience that it can be. I'm relieved that it's over and where I'm at, but I can definitely say for anyone going through this in the future to have their head on straight, or it's gonna take them under."
Hodgdon Ecstatic About Becoming a Houston Texan
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