Robert Woods: How Will Buffalo's Newest WR Fare in the Pros?
At one point in Robert Woods’ college career he was considered a potential top-10 pick, but after concerns about a lingering ankle injury and a diminishing role in the Trojans offense, his stock had taken a bit pretty significant dip. It didn’t help his cause running a 40-yard dash in the 4.5s at the combine either.
Despite the setbacks, Woods is a productive receiver with decent size and measurables that shouldn’t wow or alarm NFL talent evaluators.
He decided to leave USC early after a junior season spent as the No. 2 option behind sophomore sensation Marqise Lee.
Woods is a cerebral player who runs solid routes and understands where the holes are in coverage. Though none of his skills are elite, he does everything well enough. As an added bonus, Woods does have return ability, which speaks to his ball skills and vision.
There shouldn’t be much expectation for Robert to light the league on fire and he likely will never develop into a true No. 1 receiver. The Bills should expect solid contributions from him for several years providing E.J Manual with a reliable target, but superstardom in the NFL is considerably optimistic.
Woods should be able to come in right away and provide depth to the receiving corps as an effective No. 3 wideout and perhaps a No. 2 by midseason considering the lack of depth at the position after Stevie Johnson. But it’s worth reiterating, although a very talented receiver, he lacks the ideal tools and playmaking abilities to really stand out as an elite target on the outside.
He might find a role at times in the slot, but ideally, you would want a receiver with much better quickness and change of direction. Teammate T.J. Graham is better suited in that role while Woods’ speed is better suited for a build-up and should be more effective split wider out and in space.
Grade the selection
Considering where he was once projected to be drafted, it would seem as though the Bills got pretty decent value with the 41st pick in the second round.
What I don’t like about this pick is that they passed up other wide receivers like Keenan Allen and Da’Rick Rogers still available. Both of those young men mentioned have much more intriguing upside in terms of athleticism and would be bigger targets for Manuel to hit downfield.
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