JT Woods, 79th overall: B-
I teetered between a B- and a C+ for the JT Woods selection but I ultimately landed on a B- for what the pick will end up doing for other pieces of the LA Chargers defense. Woods is an insanely athletic safety with elite ball skills and the ability to even play some press-man as a DB4/5 in nickel and dime packages.
Most importantly, Woods adds much-needed speed to the safety room not only next season and beyond. With Nasir Adderley being a free agent after the 2022 season, it makes a lot of sense for the Chargers to go a defensive back in the third round.
This speed doesn't just help potentially bridge the gap if Adderley does leave the team, but it opens up Derwin James to play more STAR in the Chargers defense. James is at his best when he is moving around the defense and this pick frees him up to do that, which is huge.
So what are the drawbacks of this pick? We have to be critical of the selection and do more than just look at the positive. Woods struggled a lot against the run in college not just in diagnosing ball-carriers but in wrapping up and finishing tackles. The Chargers dealt with this issue last season and Woods does not make it better.
It also could be considered a slight reach with the potential of Woods being there in the fourth round, however, that is not something we will ever be able to prove. For Brandon Staley wants to build, a defense with plenty of versatile ball hawks, this selection makes a lot of sense. The best-case scenario of this pick is extremely exciting, although the lower floor shouldn't be ignored.