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Buffalo Bills: Robert Woods Gives Team Best WR Tandem in Years

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Robert Woods #2 of the USC Trojans warms up before the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on November 17, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIAugust 26, 2016

One week after the start of the 2013 NFL draft and now the analysis and critique of all the picks begin.

The Buffalo Bills made plenty of noise in the first round April 25 when they selected the only quarterback in the first round, EJ Manuel out of Florida State.

That pick came as a huge surprise to some.

"EJ Manuel is a gamble you cannot afford to make if you're the Bills. Worst non-Raiders pick I can remember in years" - @mcshay13 #BUFPick

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 26, 2013

 

In the second round, the Bills stayed on the offensive side of the ball, selecting wide receiver Robert Woods out of USC.

While there may be some Bills fans who aren't sold on the choice of Manuel in the first round, it's hard to argue with Woods.

Woods concluded his USC career as the school's all-time leading receiver with 252 catches. That includes an incredible 2011 season in which he caught 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Woods displays excellent hands and great route-running ability. He has shown on many occasions that he can come up with a tough catch or a big play to move the chains.

Woods will be especially valuable in the coming years for what he will give to Stevie Johnson, the team's No.1 wide receiver.

Johnson has 237 catches for 23 touchdowns over the last three seasons, but Woods will make him even more effective. 

That is because in Johnson's tenure with the Bills, they haven't had another solid option in the passing game.

In 2012, Johnson led the team with 79 receptions. The next best receiver had just 43 catches and that was shared by a tight end and a running back (Scott Chandler, C.J. Spiller).

The Bills have desperately needed another legitimate target in the passing game and they have found it in Woods. This was a very smart move for the Bills considering the team will have a new quarterback next season regardless of who wins the starting job.

After releasing (ESPN) Ryan Fitzpatrick, either Kevin Kolb or Manuel will be given the chance to run the offense in 2013.

Having both Johnson and Woods will help make the position much more comfortable.

With David Nelson now a member of the Cleveland Browns (NFL.com), the Bills have Brad Smith, T.J. Graham, Marcus Easley, Marquise Goodwin, Kevin Elliott and Chris Hogan at the wide receiver position.

Between them, those six players have a total of 142 receptions in the NFL, with 101 of those belonging to Smith.

A lot will be expected of Woods and he will likely open the season as the team's No. 2 receiver.

If Manuel is able to beat out the veteran Kolb for the quarterback job, he has two talented weapons to work with.

Not since the team lined up with Eric Moulds and Peerless Price have the Bills had this kind of one-two punch. Before that, you'd have to go back to the early 1990s when they had Andre Reed and James Lofton.

The Bills are moving in the right direction, at least offensively. Because of that, Woods very well could end up being one of the better selections of the entire 2013 draft.

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