Wood had his best statistical season as a sophomore, starting nine contests and finishing with a career-best 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns. While managing fewer yards (760) in 2012 while starting only four of 10 games in a shared backfield that included Theo Riddick, Wood did average an eye-popping 6.7 yards per carry.
Still, head coach Brian Kelly said in November that Wood has "a long way to go" in his development.
"Cierre continues to do the job we ask him to do," Kelly said in November after Wood indicated he had played his final home game for Notre Dame. "He's getting better. I mean, he's got a long way to go, but he had a great night tonight. I think we blocked well up front. He saw the things necessary to put his foot in the ground and play North and South. He's a better football player when he goes North and South. I think he's starting to understand that as well."
One of the more underrated running backs in the nation, Wood is a creative runner with the natural ability to make an impact at the next level. He offers an athletic blend of vision and quickness to accelerate in a flash and explode through holes at the line of scrimmage.
These traits, along with good vision, speed and size make him an intriguing NFL prospect with enough upside to warrant middle-round consideration.
The difference between his being drafted in the third round or the sixth could come down to the performance he has in pre-draft workouts and the feedback teams receive when investigating his suspension.
WEAKNESSES: Can be too indecisive at times and tends to wear down late in games. Doesn't run as powerfully as his size would indicate and remains a bit rough around the edges as a pass blocker.