Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech
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Speaking of undersized players, Xavier Woods, not to be confused with the WWE superstar of the same name, could be a logical mid-round selection for the Eagles. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are both superb safeties, but there are no viable options if one (or both) of them were to go down with an injury.
Woods, just 5’11”, is a heat-seeking missile who delivers some insanely punishing hits. While his physicality is impressive, his ball skills are just as mind-blowing. In four seasons at Louisiana Tech, he recorded 14 interceptions (two of them were returned for touchdowns). Woods’ game requires a lot of confidence and he certainly has it, although sometimes it can come back to bite him.
Here’s a scouting report on Woods, courtesy of NFL.com.
"STRENGTHS: Ball skills are a plus. From high safety, tracks the ball the moment it comes out of quarterback’s hands. Understands when he can undercut routes and has sticky hands to bring the ball in. Plays with above average instincts that have him primed to swoop into a passing lane. Drives hard on the route as soon as quarterback begins windup. Considers the ball his birthright. Always looking to make a play and is often successful. Has ridiculous ball production over last three seasons with fourteen interceptions and five forced fumbles. Can bring the wood as a hitter and has talent for timing hit to jar the ball loose from receivers. Good tackle production despite being moved around the field. WEAKNESSES: Size is a little below average for the position. Better hitter than tackler. Needs to fine-tune tackle fundamentals to eliminate misses in space. Slow to change direction. Lacks reactive athleticism and quickness for desired recovery ability. Backpedal is upright and little rigid. Tightness through his hips limits stride length and agility in space. Can be slow to range from the hash to the boundary against deep ball unless he gets a head-start. Will bust coverage looking to make a play. Gets caught guessing and can be manipulated and moved by quarterback glances. Will have to learn to play with better discipline."