2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Xavier Woods

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Xavier Woods. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Xavier Woods. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs probably won’t be looking to add a safety early. However, Xavier Woods of Louisiana Tech is a guy they could target later in the draft.

One of the biggest priorities of the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason was to lock up the safety position. The Chiefs signed Eric Berry to a huge new contract. They then followed that up by extending Daniel Sorensen. That means they probably won’t draft a safety early. However, adding a player like Xavier Woods in the later rounds is still an option.

Under John Dorsey, the Chiefs have never shied away from adding talent to a position that seemed to be set. He has done it at outside linebacker, defensive end, running back, and even quarterback. Clearly, Dorsey believes in improving the roster through competition. Safety shouldn’t be any different.

Grated, it is hard to see where another player would manage to fit in. Eric Berry and Ron Parker are set as the starters for the next couple of years. Daniel Sorensen is now in place as the top backup/third safety. That would really just leave Eric Murray, but coming into his second season I just don’t see KC cutting bait yet.

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This year’s draft class has some interesting talent at safety. However hard it is to see the Chiefs adding a player at that position, it shouldn’t be discounted. If KC wanted to create some more competition there, then there are a few options worth considering.

Xavier Woods – S – Louisiana Tech

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An incredibly productive player at Louisiana Tech, Xavier Woods is somehow going largely unnoticed by some analysts in this draft. A three-time all conference player who has dominated the stat sheets, Woods has a lot of faithful followers among those who follow Conference USA.

Xavier Woods might have the best ball skills in the entire draft. Tracks the ball out of the quarterbacks hands and times his breaks perfectly. Quick-footed to get himself into position to make a play. Loves to lay a hit on people. Woods has excellent versatility having been used in multiple positions.

The biggest negative on Xavier Woods is that he doesn’t have great speed, so he can be late getting to the ball. Will look to deliver a hit instead of wrapping up for the tackle. Can get over-aggressive, leading to him being out of position or biting on play fakes.

I like Xavier Woods a lot. Apart from his speed (which isn’t terrible…just not great), I don’t think he has a single issue that can’t be coached up. His aggressiveness is reminiscent of Bernard Pollard, except he can also catch the ball. He will be a valuable tool in someone’s defense.

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The Kansas City Chiefs probably won’t be looking at safeties early in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, they may still add some talent to the position later on. This year’s draft class offers some interesting talent. Churning the roster is something John Dorsey has excelled at. Doing it again is always a possibility.