Robert Woods Combine: Evaluating Rising Draft Stock for USC WR

Michael DulkaContributor IFebruary 26, 2013

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Robert Woods #2 of the USC Trojans smiles after a broken play against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on November 17, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  UCLA would win 38-28.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

USC wide receiver Robert Woods had a very solid combine despite not putting up remarkable numbers. Woods didn't exactly impress in the 40-yard dash, but looked extremely sharp in the on-field drills.  

While Woods put together a great performance in regard to drills, his lackluster 40-yard dash time could see him stay below other wide receivers in terms of rankings. NFL teams love speed and will likely look for the players that did better in the more athletic-focused drills. 

Woods ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, which put him in the middle of the pack of receivers at the combine. His bench press (14 reps) and vertical (33.5") also put him near the averages. 

While he didn't turn up as a freakish athlete, his smooth route running and catching ability definitely translate well to the NFL game. That should help Woods make up for a lack of elite speed. He's certainly athletic enough, despite it not exactly translating to the combine. 

One of the biggest question marks surrounding Woods was his issues with dropped passes and lack of focus. In the high-pressure atmosphere of the combine, Woods was very focused and showed strong hands. He needs to have another strong-focused outing at the USC pro day at the end of March. 

The combine page for Robert Woods lists his pro comparison as James Jones from the Green Bay Packers. It's a fitting comparison because Jones doesn't have elite speed or stand-out athleticism, but uses his body and smooth route-running to create separation. Jones also had the most touchdown catches in the NFL this season.  

Heading into the USC pro day, Woods' stock is anywhere from late-first round to the second round. With another polished performance in March, Woods could see himself gain some ground on the other top wide receivers in the draft class. 

The combine raised Woods stock a decent amount. If he can deliver a faster 40-yard dash and stay consistent in terms of on-field drills, Woods could definitely raise his stock well into the first round.