April 24, 2010

Al Woods, defensive tackle, LSU

Al Woods, defensive tackle, LSU - 123rd overall (4th round)
6'3 5/8, 309, 5.16 40

The Saints moved up seven picks in the fourth round to take a local massive run-stopper, a native of Elton, Louisiana.

Woods' draft stock is dragged down by the boat anchor career he had before his senior season. But as a senior, Woods solved his weight issues and rose up the draft boards.

His offseason workouts were phenomenal, such as a 37" vertical leap that is unheard of in a 300+ man. His frame his perfect for two-gap run defense, he is very strong and a good tackler.

Woods rose up draft boards because he seemed to put it all together as a senior. He is expected to be a better pro than college player. At LSU he was buried in a deep defensive line rotation, and he didn't emerge as a full time starter until 2009 as a senior. Woods didn't make a lot of big plays at the highest level of collegiate competition, he isn't a pass rusher. He had a good game against Steelers first round pick Maurkice Pouncey out of Florida.

That's not a bad thing in New Orleans, where the Saints have plenty of penetration-style defensive tackles. Woods is a wide body who will make the guy next to him better. In that sense he's a rare commodity on this Saints team.

Woods needs work on his technique, he tends to rise up and not get low enough. The first three years of his LSU career, Woods was for the most part invisible before turning it all on as a senior. He needs to continue to emerge and improve.

Playing with a meaner edge will be a requirement - Gregg Williams will verbally brutalize Woods in training camp until he does.

For the Saints, he immediately is a member of the field goal and goal line crews. He could eventually emerge as a starter. The Saints, much like they did in the third round, ignored best player available - they addressed a big need.

The trade up was intended to bypass the Carolina Panthers, who are also wanting at defensive tackle.

Other possibilities at 123: South Carolina LB Eric Norwood, Clemson DE Ricky Sapp, North Carolina DT Cam Thomas, Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer, Syracuse DT Art Jones, Troy DE Brandon Lang, Pitt LB Adam Gunn, Cincinnati QB Tony Pike, Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour, Texas LB Roddrick Muckelroy

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