NFL scouts from just about every team in the league were on hand at USC’s pro day, as Robert Woods continued to be impressive. Photo by Jeff Lewis
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
USC wide receiver Robert Woods (Gardena Serra High School) may have only been in a t-shirt and tights, and nobody was defending him at USC’s pro day, but scouts liked what they saw out of him. So much so that he may sneak into the first round of the NFL Draft.
Woods showed off his skills at pro day, but it was really his game tape that scouts are measuring him on, and they really like what they see.
Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie, who attended USC’s pro day, said that he puts much more stock in game tape, because he gets to see the player in real games, with an opposition, but he still puts some value in the NFL Combine and in college pro days.
“Sometimes when you watch tape, you don’t get to size guys up,” McKenzie said. “You don’t see the intensity in their eyes, or the frown on their face when they make a mistake. You can see it when you’re here.”
McKenzie said that at the combine and pro days, he can see first hand if a guy is explosive, but he does admit that it is tough to measure the athletes because they are running around in shorts with nobody hitting them, which is why tape is so important.
People take great interest in the 40-yard dash, which Woods ran in 4.51 seconds at the NFL Combine, which was a good enough time that he did not run it at pro day. McKenzie does not believe that it is the deciding factor for a football player, but it is useful.
“It’s overblown to a point,” McKenzie said. “You have to know if a cornerback can run with a receiver, or if receivers can run past people. It’s just a measuring stick. When you put it into perspective, it’s a good tool to have.”
The combine and pro days are not true tests on an athlete’s abilities to play football, but it is like a test, which the players know is coming, so doing poorly can be an indication on an athlete’s work ethic.
“It shows when you come out here that you’re in great condition, if you’re explosive off of the line, and it can tell if you’ve been working out.”
For players that are worn out after a few drills, that is a problem, and it can drop them in the draft. Good for Woods, he did not have that problem.