After what felt like an incredibly long slog from pick #33 all the way to #79, the Chargers rewarded their fans by selecting Baylor safety JT Woods.
The general consensus on Woods is that he’s an uber-athletic defender with notable production, but he’s incredibly inconsistent as a tackler and it’s why you won’t find any draft analyst or scout in the media having him any higher than a fourth-round value. At the time of the pick, the five of us on the draft show had compiled a list of 11 players we all deemed “wins” were the Chargers to select one of them. They ended up bypassing the entire list to grab Woods, a player some of us thought would end up being a late pick on day three.
But that’s the draft for you.
Just like after the Zion Johnson selection, here are my quick thoughts on which Chargers players had their stocks rise and fall following the selection of Woods.
Let’s go ahead and dive right in.
LBs Drue Tranquill/Kennth Murray
When the Chargers were up at #79, my favorite defensive player in the draft was available in Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal. Instead of adding massive reinforcements to one of the weakest position groups on the team, they chose to add another body to the secondary. At the end of the day, that group needed some extra juice, as well, so I’m not terribly surprised they went with this position.
Now that the soonest the Chargers could add another linebacker is the fourth round, I don’t think they’ll look to add anyone that immediately becomes competition for either Tranquill or Murray. Now, when I say that, I mainly mean Tranquill, but I had to throw Murray in there because it seems like he can’t do any wrong after how much playing time he was “rewarded” with against the Raiders in week 18.
Great things happen when #Chargers LB Drue Tranquill is on the field.— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) September 27, 2021
Despite all of the injuries he's sustained dating back to college, Tranquill competes at a high level with the athleticism, instincts and toughness to make plays vs. the run and in coverage. pic.twitter.com/rQ7CtOLtQH
S Nasir Adderley
Heading into the final year of his contract, the Chargers drafted another rangy free safety to complement Derwin James’ skillset. In 2022, while Adderley should remain the starter in their base defensive package, Woods figures to rotate in while also filling the role of the extra defensive back in dime packages (six defensive backs).
In the immediate, this adds some competition to a safety room that’s lacking much impact outside of James. In terms of the future, this isn’t a good sign for Adderley and his potential second contract. Unless we see a pretty notable breakout this year, I think he’ll end up being another one that simply didn’t pan out like we all hoped for.
This is a massive hit by Chargers safety Nasir Adderley on CEH pic.twitter.com/b9ldsP3jkX— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 27, 2021
If you believe Woods’ selection affected any other players, or any other position groups aside from the offensive line, let me know in the comments below!