The Los Angeles Rams and free agent WR Robert Woods agreed to a 5-year, $39 million deal in March 2017. Woods played college football at the University of Southern California where he enjoyed a successful college career. As a Trojan, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation named Woods as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2011. He earned All-American honors in 2012.
The Buffalo Bills drafted Woods in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The former All-American is a solid blocker, something that should prove useful for running back Todd Gurley. He owns strong physical ability at the catch, which is a major plus for a Rams receiving corps that lacked muscle. Woods is a possession wide receiver, who thrives best on 3rd-and-short situations. He lacks top-end speed, so running deep routes on third down would not be the best fit for him.
Woods’s greatest strength is his ability to fool opposing cornerbacks on his routes. He runs such good routes that he dupes opposing players into thinking he will go one way, when he goes in a different direction. Robyn Mundy of the USA Today explained all of Woods’ strengths in one game last season against the Seattle Seahawks. Woods torched the Hawks for a 10-catch, 162-yard performance in the Bills’ 31-25 defeat.
It is surprising that the Rams decided to commit nearly $40 million ($15 million guaranteed) to a receiver that has never caught for more than 700 yards in a season, but Woods can excel on-3rd-and short situations, an area where the Rams were dead last in the NFL in converting on 3rd down at just over 31%. The Rams didn’t sign Woods to be their top receiver. However, Woods’s skills gave the Rams front office reason to ink the former Trojan to a contract. Woods caught 51 passes for 613 yards and one touchdown in 13 games for the Bills last season.
Sources: Robyn Mundy, USA Today, Adam Schefter, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, Rams Wire, USAToday.com, Bills Wire, USAToday.com, pro-football-reference.com, teamrankings.com
Martin Cruz is a staff writer for Rams Talk. You can find him on Twitter with the username @MCruz1988.
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