Originally posted by WRATHman44:
There is nothing obvious about Woods that suggests that he can not play in the NFL, but there is nothing to suggest that he was even the most talented WR on his team, which you would generally expect from a 1st round WR.
Isn't that last statement a little bit absurd? Saying he's not the best receiver on his team. I mean who are we kidding, the other guy on his team won the Biletnikoff for being the best wide receiver in the country last year. When you take that into consideration, anyone that lines up opposite the best wide receiver in college football is going to look worse by comparison.
As a Cal fan, having seen him play for the last 3 years, I can tell you Woods is a great player. And his numbers weren't a product of having an excess of offensive skill players around him. In fact, going into 2011 he was USC's only proven offensive threat, which lead to Marqise Lee's emergence as a freshman because Woods saw the majority of the double teams. Then Lee being the better talent took over his position last season and put up better numbers in 2012.
All things withstanding, I think where Woods falls short is that he doesn't have the elite physical tools of some of the other top receivers in this draft class. He's pretty lean, has durability issues (although he does play through injuries), and he's not overly big nor has elite speed. He basically has a limited ceiling. That said, people drastically undervalue his intangibles. The guy has great hands, is about as high character as they come, and will probably pick up the playbook faster than any rookie WR coming out. Great route runner and very football smart as he learned 3 different positions in a complex pro-style offense at USC. He lined up all over the field in 2011 at slot, X, Z, even RB. It was a nightmare playing against his sophomore season.
The question is whether you want to use a high round pick on a guy that doesn't have the prototype 1st round attributes to be an elite physical talent at this level. In our situation, I can't see us wasting the pick. That being said though, there are plenty of WRs in the league that are still productive despite not having the ideal measurables. Woods, practically has the same measurables as a Victor Cruz 6' 200lbs high 4.4-low 4.5 40. I don't think he's a 1st rounder, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up as one of those mid round guys that emerges out of nowhere after a few years in the league. IMO, as a late 2nd rounder / 3rd round pick he's a huge steal.