NFL Scouts And Executives Name USC Trojans Running Back As Top-10 Underrated Prospect

Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

We are under 100 days from the USC Trojans season kicking off, but what better time to look ahead to the 2025 NFL Draft?

ESPN spoke with a number of NFL Scouts and Executives who compiled a list of players who are the most underrated NFL Draft prospects heading into the 2024 season. That list included new USC Trojans running back transfer Woody Marks.

“When you do your workout warrior lists, Marks should be on it,” an AFC scouting director said. “He might be the fastest running back in college.”

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USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley spoke highly of Woody Marks back in spring camp mentioning his size, speed, and versatility.

We thought he was incredibly productive. He caught the ball well, he was a really physically tough runner, which we wanted to get a little bit bigger and a little bit more physical in the backfield. And Woody showed that on tape. The other thing, you know, in his career, you know, you look at his numbers, it doesn’t quite tell the whole story because he’s battled a lot of injuries. You know, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy and it’s, you kind of look at, it’s like, man, if this guy can improve and can stay healthy, what can he really be? And so we were excited. We targeted him right away once he got in the portal, he was the top guy from the beginning.

Lincoln Riley During Spring Practice

He mentions the success of guys like Travis Dye, Austin Jones, and Marshawn Lloyd. Woody Marks is in line to be the next transfer portal success story and it is pretty telling that he was the running back that Riley and USC had as their top target.

Marks (5-10, 210-pounds) transferred from Mississippi State. He demonstrated flashes of dominance, as Riley alluded to, but could never put it together for an entire season. His highest carry total came last season with 121 carries which translated to 573 yards.

Like Marshawn Lloyd and Travis Dye before him, Marks will bring tremendous skill to the passing game. He combined for 214 receptions over four seasons at Mississippi State, has great hands for an RB, and runs smooth routes out of the backfield.

Woody Marks is set up for a very productive season at USC, which would certainly improve his draft stock for next year’s NFL Draft.