Scouting the WRs: Robert Woods, USC
- Updated: February 22, 2013
Ht: 6’0 Wt: 201
- Smooth, slippery athlete. Effortless runner in open-space.
- Natural hands catcher. Consistently catches the ball away from his frame.
- Maintains good pad level while accelerating into his route. A gliding route runner.
- Showcaes plus body control. Adjusts well to poorly thrown balls and lays out to get it.
- Willing blocker in the run game. Doesn’t shy away from contact.
- Effective in tight areas; still comes away with the ball.
- Possesses enough speed to stretch the defense in the vertical game.
- Plus hand/eye coordination. Can track ball well at top speed.
- Creative runner with the ball.
- Special teams contributor
- Slender/long frame could leave him vulnerable on next level.
- Can get pushed around a bit by physical coverage corners.
- Injury concerns. Appeared less explosive in 2012 due to lingering ankle injury.
- While a smooth and gliding route-runner, he can be a bit tight when gearing down. Can appear tight-hipped at times.
- Not much wiggle, “wow”, moves after the catch. Takes good angles rather than juke the defender.
- Not the strongest WR. Not going to break a lot of tackles.
Standing at 6’0, 201lbs, Robert Woods presents as a prospect with adequate physical measurables for the WR position in the NFL. Woods has a slender build, potentially leaving him vulnerable to injury. He presents with decent length, allowing him to play taller than his 6’0 height would suggest.
Robert Woods has been one of the best football players in the Country since his days at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California. He was ranked the #1 WR in the nation by Scout.com and the country’s #1 overall athlete by Rivals.com, and in 2010 he committed to USC. He ended his Trojan career ranked 6th all-time in receptions (176) and became one of three USC receivers to go over 200 yards receiving in a game twice in a career. Woods also displayed special teams ability, finishing his career 4th on the school’s all-time kickoff return yardage list.
Following a breakout 2011 season, Robert Woods began his 2012 campaign with high expectations. He managed to score 15 TDs while being hobbled on an injured right ankle all of 2011. A healthy Robert Woods was supposed to do more. However, Woods’s ankle never got ‘right’, and he remained hobbled for most of the 2012 season. It is a red flag moving forward, as his medical will have to establish that the ligament damage is behind him.
Woods’s 2012 tape displayed a receiver who is smooth in his acceleration off the LOS. He glides through his routes and is able to make sharp, space-creating cuts. While not the most physical wideout (he can get pushed around a bit by DB’s), Woods is a plus athlete who is able to reach top-end speed quickly. Woods possesses plus hands, as he consistently plucked the ball away from his body. He plays like a taller receiver as a result of his length and ability to catch the ball away from his frame. Woods displays plus body control, routinely going up or laying out for the ball. He has good hand/eye coordination, as he rarely has to slow his game-speed down to adjust for an inaccurate pass. Woods can play on all three levels of the field, showcasing ability in the short, intermediate, and vertical passing game. While not an absolute blazer, he does showcase enough linear speed to threaten a defense on the deep ball. At times, Woods appeared to chop his feet a little too much when attempting to gear down; potentially a result of his hobbled ankle. He doesn’t possess the loosest hips, and will rely on good angles and downfield blocking for big RAC yardage.
There is very little not to like about Robert Woods other than his overall size and potential ankle injury. It’s clear after analyzing the tape that Woods elevated the game of Matt Barkley. Woods is a player that I can see becomming a legitimate #1 WR in the NFL, as he offers a nice combination of intermediate and vertical game skills. He is a natural pass-catcher who possesses plus athleticism and overall speed. Assuming his ankle checks out OK, Woods appears to be an instant-impact rookie in 2013.
GRADE: 8.4 (inj) (see grading scale)
PROJECTED ROUND: 1st Round Selection