With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.
Since the departure of DE Richard Seymour and the recent loss of DE Jarvis Green, the Patriots have found a gap in their D-Line. LSU's Al Woods represents a player who has the potential to step into the DE position and help re-solidify our defensive line. Defensive Line coach Pepper Johnson has had success with top tier talent, such as Seymour, Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren, but also has had some limited success with Green, Mike Wright and, this past season, Myron Pryor. Could Woods be the next player on that list of successes? Projected to be an end-of-the-draft player, Woods has a high chance of being selected with our 7 picks in the 6th and 7th rounds. Already having completed a workout with the Patriots, Woods is a player to keep an eye on. He played DT in college, but has the size to transition to the 3-4 DE role.
He could be training camp fodder. He could also be the next great Patriots defensive lineman.
His measurements and some quotes after the jump.
Height: 6-4. Weight: 307.
Projected 40 Time: 5.12.
Combine 40 Time: 5.12.
Pro Day 40 Time: 4.98.
Benchx225: 23. Vertical: 37.
- Height: 6'4"
- Weight: 309 lbs.
- Arm Length: 36 in.
- Hand Size: 11 in.
Woods is a one-year starter with good size and strength. He lacks great initial quickness, speed and range as a defender but can be effective between the tackles when he plays with good pad level. He has strong hands when he utilizes them to jolt and restrict interior running lanes. He can be an effective bull rusher to push the pocket but needs to expand his pass-rush package with more counter moves. Woods has the size, strength and enough athleticism to be an effective run defender at the next level, but there are concerns about his ability to transition to the next level. His work ethic, technique, effort and durability likely will hinder his draft status in 2010.
03/12/2010 - After losing defensive end Jarvis Green to the Broncos, the Patriots have a vacant roster spot on its defensive line. LSU defensive lineman Al Woods could fill the void. According to The Boston Globe, the Patriots will host Woods in a private workout next Tuesday, a sign that the team could draft Woods to replace Green. The Patriots hold three second-round picks this year and could use one of them on a defensive lineman. Green's loss leaves New England with six defensive lineman on the roster, and the addition of Woods could give New England another run-stuffer. New England could pair the 6-foot-4, 309-pound Woods with Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren to give the Patriots a dominant defensive front. Woods possesses the versatility to play either the 5-technique or the nose tackle spot in New England's system, the Globe reports, which would increase Bill Belichick's defensive options. Woods showed his speed and athleticism at this year's NFL combine. He ran an unofficial 5.12 second 40-yard dash and showed a vertical leap of 37 inches, nearly two inches higher than the average wide receiver in the last three years. Woods was once projected to be a top-five pick, but could be a second-round steal. - Daniel Kobialka, NESN.com
Verdict: Al Woods is definitely worth a late round pick. He is a big body who can stop the run on the line. I'm not sure about the CBS quote stating he'd be a "steal" in the second round since very other draft board has him as a last round prospect. Woods could push Pryor for the last DE position, as well as whoever else we draft. With the benefit of 12 draft picks, we can take some big project players in the end of the draft- Woods is one of those players who deserve a shot.