Can Cierre Wood be effective on third-and-long plays in the National Football League? The former Notre Dame running back only had five receptions in 2012, so that’s one question mark. However, he caught 47 combined passes (two touchdowns) in 2010 and 2011.
Is the Californian a problem child? He was suspended for the first two games of his final season for a violation of team rules. Does the NFL really care about that? If a team thinks Wood can help them, probably not.
Is Wood capable of being effective at the next level? Yes, but where he’ll land in next month’s NFL Draft is anyone’s guess. Anywhere from the fifth to the seventh round is a safe estimate for the 5-11, 218-pounder.
Wood wrapped up his Fighting Irish career (with a year of eligibility remaining) as the seventh-leading rusher in school history, having compiled 2,447 yards on 450 carries. Among those with as many carries, Wood reigns with a 5.4 yards-per-carry average.
Though his effort at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis was solid, it would have required an incredible performance to take the spotlight from a quality crop of running backs in this class such as Alabama’s Eddie Lacy, North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Clemson’s Andre Ellington, Arkansas’ Knile Davis, Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell and roughly 10 others likely to be selected higher than Wood.
Testing well in the vertical (37.5 inches) and broad jump (124), where he placed fourth in both events among 32 ball carriers at the combine, his 4.56-second 40-yard dash (14th of 33) and 16 bench press reps (14th of 33) brought him back down to earth.
At Notre Dame’s Pro Day on March 26, Wood posted a 4.52 in the 40, and clocked in at 6.87 in the three-cone drill and 11.66 in the 60-yard shuttle. He increased his bench to 18 reps, admitting that the home atmosphere helped.
Someone, if not many NFL scouts and coaches, will love to have Wood, an experienced back with confidence galore. Last week’s pro day was a reminder (be sure to check out the video interview) why reporters always enjoyed being around the talkative and entertaining playmaker.