Heading into the 2007 NFL Draft many teams are looking to address their defensive end position. Fortunately for those teams this year's draft is deep at the position, and defensive end may be deepest position in the draft. As many as 10 defensive ends could be selected in the first two rounds. One of them is Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley.
Woodley attended Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Mich. He was a member of the track, basketball and football teams. In football, Woodley was a four-year defensive starter recording 192 tackles, 80 of them his senior year, along with 10 sacks. Woodley was awarded a scholarship to Michigan, where he majored in general studies. Woodley started two games in 2003 at defensive end, as a true freshman.
The next season Woodley started 10 games at outside linebacker and recorded 70 tackles (16 for a loss) and four sacks. The next season (2005) he was moved back to defensive end starting eight games - missing time due to a forearm injury. He had 48 tackles and five sacks. The next season, his senior year, Woodley started all 13 games. He recorded 36 tackles, 16.5 for loss and 12 sacks. He also forced four fumbles and recovered four.
Woodley was a member and leader of one of college football's most dominant defensive lines. He led the team in sacks both of the last two seasons.
Woodley displayed tremendous ability in run coverage and was a major factor in Michigan's national-best 43.4 rush-yards-per-game average. He is quick to locate the ball and is good moving through traffic. He has good speed and will chase the ball carrier sideline to sideline. He is also effective in pushing the play to the outside, keeping containment.
Although he displayed terrific run-stopping ability, Woodley is equally effective against the pass. He has good straight-line speed and can explode off the line. He has good closing speed. He uses his hands well and has effective line stunts. He is agile and has fluent movements. He can beat blockers with both strength and quickness. He recorded 19 sacks over the last two seasons (21 games).
Woodley has a good motor and will not stop until he hears the whistle. He is a hard worker as well as a good locker room presence. He will do whatever the coaching staff asks of him. He has great toughness and good durability; he's also a hard worker.
Woodley doesn't have ideal size for the position, mainly height. He can struggle with larger offensive linemen as well as double teams.
Woodley may be considered a "tweener" and doesn't have the ideal size for either defensive end or outside linebacker. Also, his positional moves have cost him some experience on the defensive line.
Competitiveness and work ethic are one of Woodley's strengths; however, at times they can cause him to over pursue.
If he struggles at defensive end, outside linebacker would be an option; however, he greatly struggled in pass coverage during his tenure at that position.
The great depth and need for defensive ends in this year's draft make Woodley's possible destination difficult to predict. Woodley has spoken to or worked out for: the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Woodley will most likely be chosen in the mid-to-late second round with a likely destination of New England, Pittsburgh or Cleveland.
About Mike Mady
Mike Mady has been a KFFL contributor since 2005.
Don't miss these great reports....