Xavier Woods, S
School: Lousiana Tech | Conference: CUSA
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 188 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Quintin Demps
Xavier Woods is one of the most underrated safeties in this draft class. The senior plays with great range and aggression. Woods is considered undersized but packs a lot of power in his frame. He is unafraid to come up to the line of scrimmage in run support or light up a receiver trying to make a catch. Woods has the athleticism and skill set to play both safety positions but because of his proficient tackling may be preferred by NFL teams as a strong safety. Woods is also praised for his leadership, accountability and work ethic by his coaches. Woods played at the East-West Shrine game and could have a chance to show how he tests against top talent and rise up draft boards if he receives a combine invitation. If he played in a power 5 conference I am certain he would have gotten more recognition by now.
- Has good athletic ability, quickness, and speed to cover and make up ground giving him a wider range than his size suggests.
- Versatile in that he can play in the box, drop back in a deep zone, and even some nickel corner.
- Has good vision and patience. He can find the ball in the air and make a play on it if in the area. Also good and sifting through the trash and finding the ball on the run.
- Good hands, he’s tallied 14 INTs and 18 passed defended in his career.
- Less than ideal size for the position.
- Though generally a good tackler he does miss a few particularly when he goes high.
- Doesn’t possess great long speed or initial quickness. Going up against elite NFL receivers will be tough for him especially if he starts his coverage near the line of scrimmage.
Let’s see his work:
LaTech asked S Xavier Woods to play all over. Here's an INT when covering a slot receiver. pic.twitter.com/QUJqm6jXet— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 12, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
The Redskins need quality safety help now. I don’t think Woods is ready to come in and challenge seriously for a starting role but I do think he brings great talent and upside to potentially both safety positions. The Redskins need starters in the secondary but they also need depth and youth at the safety position. A player like Woods can come in and immediately make an impact playing special teams where his physical nature would be a huge plus. As an extra defensive back in a sub package, he could also use his skills to blitz the QB. Woods will need to continue to develop his awareness and athletic abilities in press and zone coverage to be considered more well rounded. He’s likely the type of player that will take the entirety of his rookie deal to develop but the potential for him to start on Sundays is there. As a potential day 3 pick, he offers a lot of value.
*Expects SkinsNJ to comment since this player shares the same name as a popular professional wrestler.