Prospect: Robert Woods, WR, USCRobert Woods

Height: 6’0⅜”

Weight: 201 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Heavily plagued by ankle issues that limit effectiveness of otherwise great athleticism
  • Plus open field speed when healthy
  • Incredibly frequent feet with quickness, less so as a junior
  • Frame is rather lean, but he doesn’t play like a small receiver, very physical

Route Running:

  • Incredibly precise route runner, one of the best in the class
  • Very aware of desired steps and timing of his routes with proper patience
  • Ability to beat press coverage inconsistent due to health
  • Made press coverage pay dearly as a sophomore with foot quickness and technique to fight off defensive backs hands, resort to shoving a junior with the lack of foot frequency
  • Very productive redzone target for the Trojans, flashing radius and body control with little room to work

Hands:

  • Natural “hands-catcher” but not immune to drops if he takes his eyes off the ball too quickly
  • Concentration skills to catch the ball cleanly in traffic or through heavy contact
  • Very large catch radius, extends out away from his frame to catch the ball very well
  • Made a high number of impressive diving and full extension catches

Running/Return Ability:

  • Turns upfield with the ball after the catch very quickly and gets north and south
  • No-nonsense runner with the ball in his hands, yardage efficient with no dancing
  • Makes defenders miss in space with subtle cuts and can also spin off contact
  • Has experience as a kick and punt returner
  • Skills bode well for a kick returner, decisive and hits the hole hard
  • Reliable to catch punts consistently, decision making a question mark though

Leadership/Intangibles:

  • High effort player, which shows as a blocker
  • Engages defenders well as a blocker and will scrap, fiery personality
  • Always working to get open for his quarterback when plays break down

Overall:

Robert Woods is a highly skilled wide receiver prospect, who could be a quarterback’s best friend.  He was certainly that for Matt Barkley as a sophomore, recording 111 receptions for 15 touchdowns.  His junior year was a down year and quite the disappointment though, receptions down to 76 and touchdowns to 11.  It wasn’t the stats that disappointed though.  Woods underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle in December, 2011.  He was forced to sit out the whole summer of 2012 with inflammation in the ankle and never looked right during his junior season.  It was clear he was favoring it and at the end of a few games he was definitely struggling with it.  Woods’ ankle never really got fixed despite having arthroscopic s surgery, which puts his future health in doubt.  The team that drafts Robert Woods is going to need a long-term diagnosis on his ankle to find out what the problem really is.  It’s a shame things went this way for Woods, because without the ankle issues he would surely be the best wide receiver in this class.  If his ankle checks out for the future (seems unlikely), then he fetches a first round pick.

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