Friday, April 26, 2013
Woods, McDonald drafted, but no Barkley
By Garry Paskwietz
Robert Woods (right) heard his name called at the NFL draft on Friday, but Matt Barkley (left) is still waiting.
Two Trojans were selected on Day 2 of the NFL draft as Robert Woods and T.J. McDonald both heard their names called during the Friday session.
Woods was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round – the No. 41 pick overall – and he provides an instant weapon at receiver for the Bills to put opposite Stevie Johnson.
This becomes especially important when you consider that the Bills spent their first-round pick on quarterback E.J. Manuel from Florida State, so they wasted no time in giving him a dependable option to throw to. The Bills also added speedy wideout Marquise Goodwin from Texas in the third round.
When Woods requested an evaluation from the NFL last fall, he was given a projection of a second-round grade if he came out for the draft, which is exactly how things played out.
The pick of McDonald by the St. Louis Rams in the third-round (No. 71 overall) was a bit of a surprise as there hadn’t been a lot of pre-draft buzz about McDonald, who had a subpar senior year after earning All-America honors as a junior.
The scouting report on McDonald was that he was a physical and aggressive athlete that didn’t match up with some of the other elite safeties in the draft.
The good news for McDonald is that the Rams are coached by former USC defensive back Jeff Fisher, who played for the Trojans a few years before T.J.’s dad, Tim, also roamed the USC secondary.
Fisher liked what he saw in the younger McDonald enough to draft him in a spot that will give him a chance to compete for the open safety positions with the Rams.
The biggest shock of the day was the fact that Matt Barkley has yet to be selected through the first three rounds.
The pre-draft speculation for Barkley was all over the map, with some analysts thinking he would slip into the first round while others figured a more likely landing spot was in the second round. To think that Barkley would still be around when the final day of the draft starts is something that nobody predicted.
In addition to Barkley, other Trojans looking to get selected on Saturday in the final four rounds include center Khaled Holmes and cornerback Nickell Robey.