2017 Colts Free Agent Grade Series: Al Woods
This series takes a look at how well the 2017 free agents did in their first season with the Colts. This time we take a look at the new nose tackle, Al Woods.
Al Woods is one of the new-comers on the Colts defensive line. He was brought in from the Tennessee Titans to be the new nose tackle in the 3-4 defense. Chris Ballard seemed happy to bring the big man in to have a more veteran presence on the line, but how did he do in his first season with the Colts?
Woods is a big body, which is what you want to have at the nose tackle position. Typically, you want the nose tackle to assume double teams, and that’s exactly what Woods did. He was able to gobble up the middle well, commanding multiple linemen almost every time he was on the field.
Woods has good hands and keeps his legs moving. He is able to drive back the center, and whichever guard comes over to help, to push the line of scrimmage backwards. He does a good job filling his gap right up the middle, usually allowing a gap for a linebacker to come in and make a play.
While Woods is an asset in the run game, his ability to rush the passer isn’t quite as good. He only has one sack this season. But as a nose tackle, he typically isn’t counted on to have a high sack total. He doesn’t push the pocket around a whole lot though, which would be helpful in forcing quarterbacks to move around.
Next: 2018 Free Agent Decisions: Jack Mewhort
Most of the time, a nose tackle’s success is measured by the performance behind him. The back seven has not been good this year, so Woods’ work has been unappreciated this year, and the Colts should be happy with his overall production.