With the recent lack of success at the NFL level for Southern California wide receivers doesn’t bode well for the likes of Robert Woods. As a two sport star coming out of high school, Woods was the number two rated wide receiver in the state of California. Receiving multiple offers, he chose to go to a school that would put him on the national stage every week in USC. Over his sophomore and junior seasons, Woods accumulated 2,141 yards, 26 touchdowns and 185 receptions. The slot role early in his career may suit him best.
|Ht||Wt||40 Time||Vertical Jump|
|6′||201 lbs||4.51 seconds||33.5 inches|
Woods stood out for me most recently at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Showing off his hands in the route tree and gauntlet drills, he didn’t let the ball get close to his body. On film, he seems to have little issue with dropped passes but he does have momentary lapses in concentration. Often times you will catch Woods give up his body for the ball. Mainly having to do so, to bail out the inaccuracies of Matt Barkley; quarterbacks in the NFL will love this quality in Woods.
With his speed and route running, Woods should be a top target for any quarterback. He moves around well to create mismatches in the secondary, often times commanding the attention of a safety over the top. Woods has no issue with turning a simple screen to a big gain, moves very well in the open field accelerating to top speed quickly. As far as route running, he comes out of breaks clean and performs double moves well. As he has shown at USC, Woods will break off his route in an attempt to help a scrambling quarterback.
Woods had a drop-off from his 2011 campaign, but in his defense Barkley did not help with his accuracy issues. Playing opposite Marqise Lee, the offense seemed to go through him first. A focal point this off season heading into the draft, he will need to add some muscle to his frame. He does make an effort to be a good blocker; however with limited strength and technique, this is not his strong suit. This will make dealing with more physical corners an issue.
Durability can be an issue for Woods, as he spent some time with ankle and shoulder issues during his sophomore year on the sideline. With his small frame this could be a reoccurring issue, all the more reason to put a priority on bulking up. There seemed to be some worry going into his junior year regarding his ankle; however that didn’t seem to slow him down.
Woods can be a solid number two receiver, capable of being a game changer in the slot. He isn’t the type of player that will be on the elite level like Calvin Johnson or Andre Johnson but still worth a look in the late first or early second round. Woods has a very comparable skills to that of James Jones from the Packers. Not blazing speed, but has great hands and a dependable target.