Editor's Note: Each week Mel Kiper Jr. will highlight one of the intriguing "sleeper" prospects available for the 2001 NFL Draft.
Tory Woodbury -- QB -- Winston-Salem State
Tory Woodbury, athletically gifted at 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, just began his fourth year as the No. 1 signal-caller for the Winston-Salem State Rams, after being forced to sit out the '96 season as a partial qualifier. That's the reason he landed at the small-college ranks, rather than playing his college football in the SEC or ACC.
In '99 as a junior, Woodbury flawlessly directed (no interceptions) the Rams' multiple offense, which features the shotgun, as well as blending in the speed and dive options. After a solid fall practice session, Woodbury opened the 2000 season by leading the Rams to a come-from-behind 39-28 victory over South Carolina State. Although his stats won't make you stand up and take notice, his performance overall has to be applauded. He completed 6 of 16 passes for 174 yards and one TD, while carrying the ball 11 times for 38 yards.
During the remainder of the campaign, the plan is to have Woodbury throw between 20-25 passes per game. They like to roll him out, providing a pass-run option once he's on the perimeter. However, he will drop-back and throw the football from the pocket on occasion, showcasing his big-league arm strength as well as the athleticism to easily avoid the initial pass rusher.
With such an impressive physical talent like Woodbury, the distinct possibility exists that he could be shifted to either receiver or free safety in the NFL. Keep in mind, he excelled as a basketball player at the prep level, while also possessing ideal computer numbers for either a wide-out or free safety. He'll run between 4.43 and 4.50 in the 40. His vertical jump should be in the 38-40-inch range as well.
You can rest assured that a multi-talented athlete like Woodbury will certainly be watched very closely the remainder season as well as during the postseason all-star games and combine/individual workouts.