The University of Cincinnati held their pro day yesterday, and wide receiver D.J. Woods stood out as the best potential prospect in the crop of young talent after an exceptional workout that impressed several NFL scouts in attendance.
Woods ran a 4.40 forty yard dash, had a 37-inch vertical leap, a 10-4 broad jump, and bench pressed 225 pounds nine times — very good numbers for a six-foot-one, 180-pound wide receiver.
He has also un-officially been clocked in the low 4.3 range.
New Orleans had several staff members in attendance, namely Rick Reiprish, the teams Director of College Scouting and his staff that have been responsible for uncovering some of the teams late-round and undrafted gems.
Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Chris Ivory, Carl Nicks, Jimmy Graham, Pierre Thomas, Chase Daniel, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, and many others are all integral parts of the Saints because of Reiprish and his staff.
Woods is a bit of anomaly as scouts had him rated rather low because of an overall lack of production at the college level. His best season was in 20010 when he hauled in 57 passes for 898 yards and eight touchdowns.
Last season Woods numbers declined to 37 receptions for 444 yards and two touchdowns.
But his talent is undeniable and the Saints could need several new bodies in their wide receiver core before the start of the 2012 season.
Robert Meachem will be and un-restricted free agent this year, as will Marques Colston, who has posted five 1,000 yard receiving seasons in five of his six years in the league.
The Saints and quarterback Drew Brees are frantically trying to come to terms on a new contract before the March 5th deadline that NFL teams have to franchise tag players.
However the two sides remain far apart monetarily — Brees is said to want $5 million more than the Saints are offering — and it appears increasingly likely he will get the franchise tag.
At which point the team is expected to try re-sign Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks, and Colston will be forced to take his game onto the free agent market where his services will likely go to the highest bidder.