Ole Miss defensive back Zedrick Woods proved to be a steady leader in the Rebel secondary for four years and now he’s looking at a future in the NFL.
OXFORD, Miss. — At Columbia High School in Lake City, Florida, Zedrick Woods was an outstanding linebacker in football and a stellar sprinter on the track team. In the 2015 class, he was rated the 60th-best outside linebacker in the country and was a 3-star recruit for the Rebels. He was high school teammates with former Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (2013-15) and wide receiver Alex Weber (2014-2018).
Woods, a mainstay of the Rebels’ defense, had an outstanding career in Oxford. He posted the fastest time at the NFL Combine this year, where the best of the best of collegiate players were in attendance, running a blistering 4.29 40-yard dash.
Over the past four years, Woods was one of the most consistent players on a struggling Ole Miss defense. He appeared in 49 games with 37 starts for the Rebels, notching 231 tackles career tackles.
He played both free safety and strong safety for Ole Miss, though he received most of his playing time from the strong safety position.
Woods was an immediate impact player on the defensive side of the ball.
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) March 4, 2019
Preseason All-SEC fourth team
2019 NFL Combine Invitee
2016 interceptions leader for the Rebels
The versatile safety has a lot of up-side as a three-year starter in the SEC. He was a tough competitor that showed versatility in coverage. He was quick enough to cover running backs out of the backfield, and he also was physical enough to guard tight ends.
When tackling offensive players, Zedrick displayed good techniques that allowed him to stay in proper position to make a play on the ball carrier. He shows good fundamentals and was rarely out of position. His phenomenal speed makes him a game-changer because he is able to close on a ball carrier and make a lot of plays. At times, he seemed to be the lone bright spot in a Rebel secondary that was depleted by injuries.
He never missed a game in his career at Ole Miss–and had the lowest (by far!) missed tackle percentage of all draft-eligible SEC safeties.
Zedrick Woods was the surest-tackling safety in the SEC this season. pic.twitter.com/08ZZMdzBWY
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 4, 2019
At the Combine
When he arrived at the NFL Combine, not many–outside of his Ole Miss teammates–knew just how fast Zedrick is. By the time the Combine was over, everyone knew.
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) March 4, 2019
In addition to the fastest time at this year’s Combine, here are Woods’ official stats:
- Height: 5-11
- Weight: 205 lbs
- Arms: 31 5/8″
- Hands: 9 1/8″
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.29 (Fastest at the 2019 Combine)
- Bench Press: 19
- Vertical Jump: 34.5″
- Broad Jump: 10’2″
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.0
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.15
Zedrick Woods is a perfect example of a player whose draft stock elevated after the NFL Combine. Although he is still somewhat underrated, NFL scouts took notice of his skills. He stands at 5’11,’’ 205 pounds with 31 ⅝’’ arms and 9 ⅛’’ hands. He is an aggressive safety who has shown his physicality with receivers, tight ends, and running backs.
In addition to the 4.29 second 40-yard dash, Woods also completed 19 reps on the bench press, recorded a 34.5-inch vertical jump, and leapt 10’2″ flat in the broad jump. His 3-cone drill had a time of 7.0 seconds, and his 20-yard shuttle was 4.15 seconds. According to NFL.com’s draft profile on Woods, he scores a 4.98, which equates to a player that should be invited to NFL Training Camp.
“Woods can flat-out fly on the football field. Zedrick has track sprinter’s speed and has a strong, compact build. He has excellent leaping and timing skills with the ball in flight. He has unreal recovery speed and make-up space in the deep part of the field. Zedrick is very talented and athletic and he’s gotten better in his read and react skills out on the field. Improvement with his overall coverage skills will be the key to his success in the NFL, but he’s got all the athletic tools.“
Mike Detillier on Zedrick Woods
Where will Woods Go in the Draft?
Most experts project Woods to be drafted anywhere from the fourth through seventh rounds. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein predicts Woods as a seventh-rounder while Walter Football has him projected as a fourth to sixth-rounder. As a three-year starter, Woods has a veteran leadership presence that could help a team out on special teams immediately. Woods’s speed and tackling ability could be utilized on kickoff and punt coverage where he could be a multiple year player.
Mike Detillier gives Woods a ranking of 17.71 in his analysis–which places Zedrick in the late 3rd or 4th-round range of the Draft.
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, and we look forward to seeing where Zedrick Woods is selected. It has been a pleasure to cover his collegiate career, and we wish him nothing but the best in his NFL future!