The Cleveland Browns had high hopes for Michael Woods II in 2022 but injuries derailed his rookie campaign. Now, he could be in store for a strong 2023 campaign.
When the Cleveland Browns selected Michael Woods in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, he instantly became an intriguing player to watch. He had NFL size at 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds and also possessed great length with 33-inch arms.
Even with the physical attributes, he wasn’t being praised by scouts. He was seen as “tight-hipped” and ran basic routes. He also had limited production during his career which included three seasons at Arkansas at one at Oklahoma.
But then when training camp started, it was evident what the Browns saw. Woods ran very clean routes and his hands were like vacuums during team drills. His catch radius was also impressive and he simply looked the part.
Woods wound up missing the preseason as he struggled with a hamstring injury. Even without being on the field for the exhibition games, the staff believed in him enough that he made the 53-man roster.
He continued to miss time during the year and in the end, Woods played in just 10 games. He also had just five receptions on 10 targets for 45 yards.
Michael Woods should be in the Browns plans more in 2023
While those numbers aren’t overly impressive, it’s important to remember he was a sixth-round pick and a project player. The Browns are sure to try and get him involved more during the 2023 season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make a leap.
Right now, Cleveland’s set with their top two receivers — Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. However, it’s wide open behind them.
Anthony Schwartz, a third-round pick from 2021, has done nothing to separate himself from the pack. David Bell, a third-round pick in 2022, was better than Schwartz but still had just 214 yards on 24 receptions — an average of 8.9 yards per catch.
Cleveland is sure to add another name to the mix but it’s unlikely they’re going to be targeting a big name in free agency or a selection early in the draft.
That means players such as Woods will have a real shot of climbing the depth chart this offseason. He’s a name to watch as we see if he can take advantage of that opportunity.