By: Kris Wright | April 29, 2022
When Virginia tight end Jelani Woods lit up the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month, the Indianapolis Colts obviously didn’t have to travel far to see him in action. They clearly liked what they saw.
Indianapolis selected Woods on Friday night in the third round of the NFL Draft with the 73rd overall pick. He’s the highest drafted tight end from UVA since Heath Miller in 2005.
Woods had climbed team’s boards thanks to some strong workouts during the draft process. It started when he caught a touchdown pass at the East-West Shrine Bowl. The Colts got an early look there as their offensive coordinator Marcus Brady coached that game.
Then Woods took full advantage of his combine opportunity in Indianapolis when he scorched the 40-yard dash in a time of 4.61, the second fastest time ever by any player taller than 6’7”. On the bench press, he tallied 24 reps. Woods also threw in a perfect 10.0 RAS (Relative Athlete Score) that ranked first out of 998 tight ends from 1987 through 2022.
Later at the Virginia Pro Day workout, Woods added to his rising stock. He posted a 37.5” vertical and a 10’9” broad jump. He also recorded a 4.20-second 20-yard shuttle.
Those workout stats followed a strong year at UVA too. Woods finished with 44 receptions for 598 yards and 8 touchdowns in his lone season with the Hoos. He averaged 13.6 yards per catch, caught 2 passes or more in every game, and scored a touchdown in all but two games this past season. He earned first-team All-ACC recognition.
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