Woods an example of Bills recent 2nd-round success

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In 2013, a talented receiver out of the University of Southern California anxiously waits to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Day One comes and goes, but Robert Woods doesn't get the phone call he so badly hoped to receive.

"My agent told me I had a slight, slight chance to be taken at the end of the first round," Woods recalled. "The Texans took DeAndre Hopkins and I was looking at the draft and I saw a lot of big guys going, so I knew that wasn't good for me."

At 6-foot, 201 pounds, Woods' size may have been one factor as to why he wasn't taken in the first round. He can best be described as a cerebral player who runs solid routes and has a great understanding of where the holes are in coverage. Those are coveted qualities, but some teams prefer to get them within a receiver with a larger frame.

After the first round of the '13 draft, Woods got a good night's rest, he had a good breakfast the next morning and knew the second day would be his day, his time.

"The second day was a lot more relaxed than the first day," he said. "The first day was just getting more and more anxious as the picks went on, and the second day I was just calm waiting for my phone to ring."

Which was exactly what happened on Day Two. The call came from the Buffalo Bills.

"I wanted to be a first round pick, I thought my college numbers said that, but I wasn't the biggest, fastest or strongest guy so that probably shied people from taking me in the first round," Woods said. "But that's how the game goes."

A total of four receivers were taken before the USC product: Tavon Austin (Rams), DeAndre Hopkins (Texans), Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings), and Justin Hunter (Titans). Woods still uses that fact as motivation.

"I compete with them and my goal is to just outlast them," he said. "I was happy for them, I know what I'm capable of. I know where I think I should have been taken and I know what they do and I just want to outwork them and outlast them and have a better career and prove a point."

As a rookie, Woods had instant success, starting 13 of 14 regular-season games. He recorded 587 receiving yards, which were also the most by a Bills rookie wide receiver since Lee Evans.

Woods, along with safety Aaron Williams and left tackle Cordy Glenn, are prime examples of the Bills' recent second-round pick success.

 "I was expecting to be a first round pick, everyone wants to be a first round pick," Williams said. "But that's the nature of going to the NFL. I understand the business now, I'm happy and I am glad how everything turned out."

After joining the Bills from Texas in 2011, Williams started 10 games at cornerback, eventually making the transition in 2013 to safety. This past season, Williams, who signed a contract extension with the Bills in 2014, played in 15 games, starting 14. He racked up 76 tackles and led all defensive backs with tackles for loss.

"I took my anger out on the field," Williams said. "I wanted to prove to myself that I was that type of caliber player."

Glenn, a former Georgia standout, has started at left tackle for the Bills since joining them in 2012. How 'bout them Dawgs?

These players are proof that just because the Bills don't have a first round pick, it doesn't mean they won't have a successful draft.

According to the Bills Director of Player Personnel, Jim Monos, all player-personnel evaluators in the NFL view players differently.

"The goal with the second-round pick is to get a starter a guy that can come in and challenge to start right away," Monos said.

So the big question is, will the Bills second-round success continue in 2015?

"Doug Whaley is on the right track with this team and the players that they draft come in and have a great impact," Woods said. "We have so many great players on this team because of Doug Whaley and staff."

Judging by the recent past, it's hard to disagree.

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