Scouting Report, Analysis and Predictions for Ohio State 5-Star CB Eli Woodard

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Scouting Report, Analysis and Predictions for Ohio State 5-Star CB Eli Woodard
Via Rivals.com

Eli Woodard, the 5-star CB out of Voorhees, New Jersey, is one of the highlights of Ohio State's and Urban Meyer's 2013 recruiting class.

Checking in at 6'0'', 185 pounds, Woodard has the size to be effective as a corner in the Big Ten, and Rivals.com has him running a 4.58 40-yard dash.

There's simply not a lot to dislike about Woodard. Here are my scouting report and predictions for OSU's big-time defensive back recruit.

 

Woodard's Junior highlights.
Scouting Report

Woodard is going to be a corner at the college level, but he's undoubtedly athletic enough to play just about any skill position on the field. His highlights feature clips of him at wide receiver, on special teams and even at quarterback.

Not only does this point to great athleticism, but it shows that Woodard has the overall football and instincts that you look for in a 5-star prospect.

As a corner, he has all the intangibles you need to be great. He has a good, low stance that transfers to his backpedal, and he can turn his hips and run with the defender. His ability as a wide receiver also comes into play as a defender against the pass.

Where Woodard is really going to stand out for Meyer and the Buckeyes, though, is with his physicality as a run defender. This is normally an area most cornerbacks have to work on, but Woodard doesn't appear timid to get downhill and make contact. This next series of pictures will really help demonstrate his ability against the run.

In the picture below, Woodard appears to be in a soft Cover 2, which means he's a flats defender against the pass and that he will have to set the edge (not let the football outside of him) against the run.

His first steps have to be backwards as a pass defender first, but notice that his eyes are in the backfield, and as soon as he realizes it's a run, he sticks his foot and starts the process of coming upfield.

Next, he engages the receiver using his hands to stay off the block. Notice how he's still maintaining outside leverage, positioning himself  so that he won't get hooked and lose his contain.

Finally, he's able to get off the block and get downfield, and he makes the tackle in the backfield, all the while maintaining outside contain.

You expect corners to be able to make plays in coverage, but it's the truly special ones that can play strong against the run. Woodard has what it takes to be a special player, especially in the Big Ten.

 

Predictions

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
It's not a question of if Woodard will see the field for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, but more so a matter of when. 

He has all the tools to be an elite corner in the Big Ten level. Big Ten football is known for its hard-nosed defenses and power running games, and even though it's strayed away a bit from that model, tough, physical play is still a staple.

Woodard is a kid who can come in during his freshman year and be an immediate impact player.

If you could rank Woodard...

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I see him playing a huge role on special teams with his speed, athleticism and physicality, and he can even be a good nickelback right off the bat. He'll be able to defend the pass, but he can still be a reliable defender against the run.

Essentially, Meyer will have the luxury of using Woodard however he sees fit in his freshman season, but eventually it's not a stretch to see him as the full-time starter at corner.

He'll eventually be one of the best in the Big Ten, if not the whole country.

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