NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Robert Woods, WR USC
Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: WR Robert Woods
Robert Woods, WR USC
6-1, 201 pounds
Hometown: Carson, CA
40 yard: 4.51
3 cone: 7.15
News and Notes:
When it comes to drafting wide receivers, the Packers don’t follow the mold. Going back a couple years, in 2008 the Packers pretty much could have picked any wide receiver they had wanted in the 2nd round (the first wide receiver was Donnie Avery with the 2nd pick of the 2nd round for reference). There was the star (Mario Manningham), the speedster (DeSean Jackson) and the physical specimen (Limas Sweed). The Packers however decided to select Jordy Nelson, who up to that point no one had every heard of. Now 5 years later, Jordy Nelson is probably considered the best wide receiver in the 2008 draft (I could see people arguing for Jackson, but inconsistency and a big mouth put Nelson higher up in my book). The point is, the Packers don’t emphasize measurables as much as they do emphasize route running, versatility and football acumen; so while fans and the media will hype players like Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson, past history would dictate that the Packers probably aren’t so interested. However, a wide receiver that the Packers might be interested in would be Robert Woods.
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “Savvy hands-catcher and does a nice job making plays in stride. Polished and crafty route runner and does a nice job changing speeds in his patterns to keep defenders off balance. Sharp in-and-out of his breaks with strong plant-and-go quickness. Not naturally explosive but accelerates quickly with very good body control and balance. Fast hands with very good hand/eye coordination and drops are rare with him. Fluid frame and smooth hips to adjust and make tough catches. Can climb the ladder and snatch the ball out of the air. A lot of screens and asked to create on his own with good vision with the ball in his hands. Deceiving strength to come down with contested grabs with the toughness and fearless attitude to fight for every yard and go over the middle. Unselfish player and gives good effort as a blocker.”
- NFL.com: ”Productive potential number one receiver who can excel on any route on the tree due to good foot quickness and shifty hips. Runs solid comeback routes and uses sharp cuts on skinny posts to free himself. Possesses good vision and a strong burst with the ball in his hands. Flashes the ability to catch passes away from his frame with his hands. Can make catches in traffic and track passes over his shoulder. At times shows the strength and agility to spin out of tackle attempts in the secondary. Willing to go over the middle, take a hit and hang on. Has the speed to run past defenders, but also uses his long arms to create space from defenders downfield. Gives his quarterback a target when plays break down by going deep or coming across the field. Does his job as a downfield blocker on run plays, mixes it up with multiple targets if necessary.”
- Fits in the Packers mold of the multi-position wide receiver; can align out wide, in the slot or even in line.
- Has experience in the “quick pass”/hot play, where the receiver doesn’t move before getting the ball, both as the receiver and as the blocker. The Packers run this play often when cornerbacks give too much cushion and Woods would fit right in.
- Decent speed but makes up for it with clean routes and good breaks. Woods doesn’t typically scream past defenders, but gets separation with good route running.
- Good acceleration but great balance and body control, is able to make catches from odd positions and avoid defenders with his flexibility.
- While he has his issues with drops, overall is a solid receiver with a good pair of hands. In other words he’ll fit right in with the Packers.
- Can play returner in a pinch but in all honesty isn’t a very good one. If given the directive to not screw up, Woods would be a player who can consistently catch the ball and gain a little but doesn’t have the acceleration to really scare teams and break off long returns. Also would probably be better as a kick returner than punt returner where he has more space to gain speed and pick a hole to hit.
If drafted by the Packers
I know this comment has been thrown out a lot by Packers fans, but Robert Woods really reminds me a lot of Greg Jennings (and I’m not saying that because the Packer now need to replace Jennings). In particular one of Jennings’ favorite moves after catching the ball was to come to a full stop and then jump backwards or off to the side in order to avoid a defender, and in a couple of instances Woods does the exact same thing and you’d swear it was Jennings wearing a USC jersey. You also see smooth strides and crisp breaks from both Jennings and Woods. Finally and perhaps most importantly, you see football acumen with Robert Woods. Aaron Rodgers brought up that he felt like Randall Cobb was going to turn into a star during his rookie year because he was “mature” and “knew football”, something he hadn’t seen in a rookie since Greg Jennings and I feel Woods possess the same football intelligence. Coming from a pro-style offense in USC Woods could immediately contribute on the offense, albeit probably as the 4th or 5th option. Woods could also contribute to special teams, but like I mentioned before it’s not his forte and unless the Packers are desperate they would probably be better suited finding someone else as a returner. As with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb I wouldn’t expect much from any wide receiver during their rookie season; the Packers passing offense is very complicated and more importantly Aaron Rodgers doesn’t just trust anybody so it will always take time for rookie wide receivers to get comfortable with the offense as well as get in sync with Rodgers.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.