NFL Draft 2013OpinionSpeculation

Draft Target: Robert Woods

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Almost any evaluation of USC wide out Robert Woods is going to have a lot of positives, but a lot of those compliments of his game will come with a qualifier that reads “when healthy” which in and of itself is a red flag.

Woods followed up a prolific college career with a very decorated three years at USC.  He was Matt Barkley’s favorite target as a freshman and sophomore, and still managed to produce decent numbers despite his arthroscopic ankle surgery prior to his junior season.

The angle is the biggest question mark with Woods, as he clearly wasn’t as dominant last season as he previously was, but “when healthy” he looks like a top ten prospect.  At some point in the Draft, a team will decide that the risk of selecting an injury concern no longer outweighs the reward of getting a potential franchise receiver.

At 6′ 0″ and 201 pounds, Woods possesses decent size and an elite skill set that could make him a household name over the next decade.

He has the speed and agility to create separation, even against top notch competition, and then a large catch radius that makes life easy on teh quarterback.  His routes and timing are among the best in this class and he can be kind of a bully, when necessary, if it comes  fending off a cornerback for the football.

He works really hard to make plays in traffic coming across the middle of the field and especially in the end zone.  Very good awareness and timing allows him to come up with the football, and get his feet in bounds,  when it seems there is no room for error.  He can lay out, high point the football, or tap the toes to make jaw dropping catches at times.

After the catch, Woods has a no-nonsense style of play, and he gets himself turned upfield quickly to try and maximize his yardage.  Unfortunately, he sometimes gets turned up field too quickly and gets ahead of himself resulting in a dropped pass.  It isn’t the only reason Woods drops passes, and he does more of that than one would like to see, but it seems to be a pattern.

Woods is a well rounded receiver, who blocks quite well and has experience as a return man, and could really be an impressive specimen should he add some bulk and get some high quality NFL coaching.

If it weren’t for the ankle, I would say that Woods is a sure-fire first round pick, so the Vikings need to rely on Head Trainer Eric Sugarman and his evaluation to see where he lands on their draft board.  Should he somehow manage to still be available when they are making a choice in the second round, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be a very serious consideration.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. I watched this kid during the combine. he is really smooth and has some great hands. Normally I am not a big fan of USC receivers and QB’s because of all the hype. This kid is the real deal. I definitely would not mind being on the Vikings.

    1. Watched a lot of USC games the past few years and saw a lot of alligator arm catches from Woods, especially in the end zone. Very rarely was he able to high point the ball and go up and get it. Love the kid but he needs to extend his arms and use more of his athletic ability to be goo at the next level.

  2. I was rated higher than Robert Woods and he only got to play cause he was a local kid…..he blows!

  3. I like the fact Woods can return kicks and punts. He also knows how to get into the endzone.
    The Vikings have already seen a lot of tape on him from last year, so I am sure he is on the radar.

    First round? I am not sure. His yards per reception average is only 11.7 for his career.
    I am not sure if he is a “deep threat” kind of guy.

    Would he be a good complement with Jennings?

    I would take Woods in the 2nd round if the Vikings don’t select a WR in the first round. I can see the Vikings trading up to get him in round 2.

    However, I like Hopkins more.