Fast 40+ Rams Roster rookie roundup: Jaiden Woodbey (#39)
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams certainly have been in the market for defensive players who can raise the bar for the entire team, and they believe that Boston College defensive back Jaiden Woodbey could be a step to bring the team closer to that goal. After all, the Rams are in need of competition, particularly in the secondary, and that is something that Jaiden Woodbey brings to the table.
That is not to say that Woodbey is an automatic to make the Rams roster. Rather, he is a player who will certainly offer a unique set of skills to the Rams coaching staff, as they all muddle their way through training camp to the inevitable roster cuts to the initial 53-man roster.
A quick summary
Defensive back Jaiden Woodbey is a player who will make the casual observer do a double-take. He is built like an old-school NFL middle linebacker but plays in the secondary. Adding to the confusion of whether is-he-or-isn't-he is the fact that the Rams released him only to re-sign him a day later. That made my head spin for a moment.
What I don't like about this addition
NFL draft analysts and scouts theoretically should have been very high on Jaiden Woodbey, a 6-foot-1 231-pound defensive back who hits like a wrecking ball. So why didn't he hear his name called out during the NFL Draft? He struggled to generate measurable impacts in games he played at college. That lack of production could be attributable to the college scheme he played in, but scouts didn't think that was the case. Sure, scouts get it wrong sometimes.
What I like about this addition
Taking a chance on a big-bodied strong safety is a clever strategy. Not only can Jaiden Woodbey offer a viable option to the Rams' defense, but he also becomes an instant candidate for special teams. In fact, he has plenty of collegiate experience on special teams units, a factor that could decide whether he remains on the Rams roster.
Woodbey has plenty of size, but not much speed. Will that hamper his role on the Rams roster? Only if he makes the roster in the first place.
What I love about this addition
You can't coach 'big,' and that is what you get with Jaiden Woodbey. I had discussed LA Rams Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris' love for big hybrid LB/S types and called those large safeties his Super Saiyan DBs. If you need to make a comparable role for Woodbey, he appears to be a rookie replacement for former Rams LB/DB Jake Gervase. In essence, they are players who can swap out for one of the two inside linebackers on passing downs, yet still offer enough run support to ensure the Rams' defense closes the deal on the three-downs-and-punt against opposing offenses.
If the Rams can get Woodbey to that level of play, he could be hugely instrumental to a Rams defense that gets the ball back to the offense quickly. Of course, that is big if.
Roster Projection: He has better than even odds of making the Rams practice squad