Robert Woods underachieved a bit at wide receiver for USC in 2012, but his draft stock appears to be rising thanks to good showings at the NFL Combine and the Trojans' pro day.
Woods hauled in 76 catches for 846 yards and 11 touchdowns in his junior campaign at USC last season, and while those numbers weren't bad, they didn't approach the stats he put up in 2011. As a sophomore, Woods caught 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 scores, averaging 107.7 yards per game. Woods dealt with a nagging ankle injury in 2012, and the dip in production caused him to fall from a projected first-round pick in August to a second- or third-round projection after the season, according to NFL Draft Insider.
Now that he's shown his abilities at the combine and USC's pro day, scouts are projecting Woods to be selected in the second half of the first round, per the Los Angeles Times's Sam Farmer. At the combine, Woods showed good speed with a 4.51 40-yard dash and quick feet with a 7.15 three-cone drill and 4.47 20-yard shuttle. Now that he's shooting up draft boards, Woods is pleased scouts and analysts are taking notice:
"I'm doing the same stuff I did in college," Woods told Farmer. "I guess people are just catching up on me."
Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart watched Woods at the pro day and met with the 20-year-old's family. He came away impressed:
"We're a character organization from ownership on down," Stewart told Farmer. "I had a chance to visit with [Woods'] mom and dad, and they're character people. Those are the type of people who will turn an organization, character people. That's a premium for us."