Woods swallows up the football on most targets but he isn’t without the occasional drop or bobble. When his hands are aligned, he firmly snatches it with his massive mitts. There is some consistency that I believe will come as he continues to grow at the position.
Woods is a massive dude with a large catch radius that he’s shown the ability to maximize. His above-the-rim game has developed nicely and he’s a strong candidate for 50/50 balls. He has the makings of a mismatch.
Woods is a fiery competitor on the field. I love his alpha mentality at the catch point and with the ball in his hands. While he needs technical work as a blocker, I like his temperament.
Jelani Woods was an accomplished high school quarterback that originally went to Oklahoma State to be their quarterback but transferred to tight end late in the 2017 season. After 28 starts at Oklahoma State where his role in the passing game was modest, Woods was a graduate transfer to Virginia and emerged as a First-Team All-ACC selection in 2021. Given his height, weight, and wingspan, Woods has the makings of a mismatch down the seam. He has a strong above-the-rim game and he swallows up the football when targeted. He’s a competitive blocker in the run game that does well to establish his frame. That said, Woods’ newness to the position shows up as he’s an underdeveloped route-runner and he’s still developing consistency with his hands. He isn’t a dynamic athlete and his feet are heavy when he runs, but he has good speed once he can fully open his stride. With continued progress as a blocker and overall time on task as a receiver, Woods could settle into a TE2 role at the next level and serve as an asset in 12-personnel groupings. His potential is well worth a mid-to-late day-three selection.
Ideal Role: Developmental tight end
Scheme Fit: Any
Written by Joe Marino
Games watched: Illinois (2021), North Carolina (2021), Pittsburgh (2021), Louisville (2021)
Best Game Studied: Illinois (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Louisville (2021)
Hands: See Above.
Route Running: Woods is a raw route-runner with modest burst and separation quickness. He has some impressive reps of setting up and snapping through his breaks but he can often appear unimaginative. His adjustments to zone are mostly sound. Woods does have that “open when he’s covered” appeal given his ability to play above the rim, so not all of his separation comes in the form of space between him and a defender.
Versatility: Woods’ size and wingspan make him a potential mismatch down the seam. He has appeal in-line and in the slot, with experience blocking and running routes from both spots. He doesn’t firmly check the boxes, but ‘appeal’ is the right word.
Competitive Toughness: See Above.
Ball Skills: See Above.
Blocking Skills: Woods is an enthusiastic blocker that competes as a blocker. He has outstanding length and keeps his feet engaged. He needs some work with his hands and to play with better bend, but he excels as a positional blocker that competes for movement.
Football IQ: Woods executes with good timing and awareness. His background as a quarterback gives him a good understanding of how to attack leverage. There is an apparent desire to execute with good technique and fundamentals.
RAC Ability: Woods’ feet are fairly heavy once he turns and runs, but he’s a big body that competes for yardage after the catch. He’ll get the available yards and lower his shoulder. This doesn’t forecast as a strong suit of his game but his size and stride length give him some appeal.
Pass Protection: Virginia almost never kept him in to pass block when he was on the field for passing plays. His length and competitive toughness give him a chance. Those traits should make for some extremely elongated paths for rushers to win off the edge.
Big Play Ability: Woods isn’t going to make big plays because he’s explosive, but he does have that appealing power forward aspect to his game. He’s a monstrous target in the middle of the field that can challenge the seam and make plays. That said, he isn’t going to be consistent YAC or vertical separation.
TDN Consensus: 74.75/100 (Fourth Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 74.00/100
Marino Grade: 74.00/100
Harris Grade: 73.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 75.50/100
Weissman Grade: 77.00/100
Parson Grade: 75.00/100