Robert Woods WR USC #2
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Size/Athleticism: Above average height, but doesn’t play like a 6’1″ receiver. He relies much more on his speed than his size. Capable of going up to pluck the ball but tends to shy away from physical play and doesn’t make many plays in traffic. Bigger defensive backs can definitely out-physical him in a fight for the ball. Has the straight-line speed to consistently stretch the field and also provide value as a return specialist.
Separation Skills: Has the speed to take the top off the defense. Most corners give him a solid cushion due to his speed. However, he lacks the quickness to shake defenders who can match his straight-line speed. He’s a solid route runner, but needs to either improve the suddenness in his breaks or become more physical. At this stage in his career he has yet to demonstrate the skills necessary to separate from the top corners at the next level. The vast majority of his receptions at USC came within five yards of the line of scrimmage, many on screens, which required no separation ability at all.
Ball Skills: Fairly reliable hands, but nothing special. He does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air and will make some difficult catches, but he’ll drop some easy ones along the way.
Intangibles: Coaches speak very highly of his work ethic. Worked hard to play through an ankle injury during his sophomore year.
Durability: Slowed by an ankle injury which he suffered playing basketball in April, 2011 for much of his sophomore year which likely contributed to his relatively modest performance on tape, especially impacting his lack of quickness. The same right ankle injury forced him to miss 2012 spring practices, a full year after the initial injury.
Comments: Woods was productive at USC, but did not display the skills to warrant the hype he received early in his career. He played in an offense that fit his skills set well and played to his strengths. He is not, and never will be, a No. 1 receiver. Woods does his most damage after the catch, which can definitely make him a valuable asset to a team in the NFL, but don’t confuse him for a difference maker. Woods is a piece of the puzzle, not a guy that changes the dynamics of your offense.