Paul has fought his way back into England's Test match 22 after a forgettable flirtation with international rugby union almost two years ago.
Woodward now admits that Paul's appearance as a substitute against France in Paris - England's last championship defeat - came too early in his development after switching codes from rugby league.
But he has also paid tribute to the former Wigan and Bradford rugby league star, who has been a driving force behind Gloucester's push for European and domestic honours this term.
Paul will cover the centre positions when England launch their RBS 6 Nations Championship campaign in Italy next Sunday.
"We picked him a couple of years ago, and it was too early for him," said Woodward. "But if you look back, there was a complete spate of injuries to goal-kickers, so we had to take him off the bench.
"Yes, it was too early and it was tough for him, and I think that people do compare him to Jason Robinson, who took to the game like a duck takes to water.
"If he comes on next Sunday, I will base the whole team around him. He will come on at 12, and Will Greenwood will move out if there is a need for change."
The England boss also reiterated his view that 32-year-old Paul Grayson is the right man to replace injured World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson against Italy, rather than the likes of Paul, Olly Barkley or Alex King.
"I thought that playing away - and this is a difficult fixture for England - to bring someone in who is not used to the calls and the way that we operate, like Olly Barkley or Henry Paul or even Kingy, who has been away from the scene for quite a while, then it would have been a tough call.
"It is all about winning, but it is a pretty experienced team with the likes of Grayson there, who is a very experienced player and a great leader."