Posted Tue Apr 29th by Jonathan Douglas
“If players were measured by their heart and desire instead of their body structure, Woodyard would be a giant among men. A fearless tackler with little regard for his own safety…” – NFLDraftScout.com
Woodyard started playing WILL in High School where he helped his team post a 51-3 record and win two state championships. In his senior year alone he racked up 125 tackles and 6 fumble recoveries with 4 returned for TD’s.
Woodyard arrived at the University of Kentucky in 2004 as a strong safety, but after only 10 games (and 5 starts) he was moved back to WILL. He impressed both coaches and teammates and became the first Kentucky freshman to serve as a team captain.
For the next three years he dominated the weak side LB position. He broke 100 tackles all three years finishing his collegiate career with 395 tackles (259 solo), 6.5 sacks (for 48 yards worth of loss), caused 7 fumbles, recovered 7 more, deflected 12 passes and intercepted two others.
Here are some things I liked from the scouting report:
* Smart player who shows awareness and good instincts on the field
* Learns and picks up things well on the field
* He is an aggressive wrap-up tackler
* He is not afraid to give up his body and lay a blow if he gets into position
* Works hard in the weight room
* Appears to be very coachable player
* He is a vocal team leader
* Quality performer on all of the special team coverage squads
And here are a few things that concern me:
* He struggles to shed blockers when working along the line of scrimmage
* He can often overrun the ballcarrier
* A competitive tackler who will lay some wood, but plays out of control
* Several scouts say he plays too high – needs to lower his pads
All in all, I think his main issues (according to the ‘experts’) can be solved by good coaching. If Woodyard is willing to learn, he has a bright future with the Broncos. I just don’t know enough to predict if Denver will use him at safety or LB, but he seems like the perfect fit for our standard faster-than-humanly-possible LB unit.
I guess I could start harping on DJ being allowed to compete for his MIKE position again, with Woodyard now able to compete at WILL… but I feel like I’ve already beaten that horse well past death.
And now, for a couple of short video clips of Woodyard in action!
He doesn’t seem too ‘light’ in this video as he lays a nice hit on a receiver.
Woodyard breaks up a pass with another great hit.