NY Jets address biggest remaining need with massive DT Al Woods
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets were able to address some of their roster needs in the 2023 NFL Draft, but one position group that remained untouched was defensive tackle. That changed on Wednesday.
The Jets have reportedly agreed to terms on a contract with veteran defensive tackle Al Woods, per SNY's Connor Hughes. Woods is an exciting late free-agency addition and exactly what the Jets needed in the middle of their defense.
The 12-year NFL veteran spent the last four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and is one of the best run-stuffing defensive tackles in football. There was no bigger need on the Jets' roster than the 1-technique defensive tackle position.
In reality, it's a hole the Jets never really filled following the departure of Foley Fatukasi last offseason. Now, the Jets finally have the run-stuffing 1-tech that they've been searching for.
Al Woods is a massive addition to the NY Jets' defense (literally)
At 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, Woods is a big-bodied space eater who has performed very well as a run defender throughout his career.
He finished the 2022 season with a Pro Football Focus run-defense grade of 69.9 that ranked 32nd out of 127 qualified interior defensive linemen. His 80.3 run-defense grade in 2021 was the fourth-best among players at his position.
The Jets have had interest in Woods for months, dating back to his release from the Seahawks in March. They previously brought him in for a visit before signing his former teammate in Seattle, Quinton Jefferson.
Now, the two for Seahawks are reunited again in New York.
Woods projects as an early-down starting 1-tech alongside Quinnen Williams in the base defense. Meanwhile, Jefferson will likely rotate in on passing downs as an interior rusher. Don't be surprised if guys like John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons are used in that role, either.
The Jets didn't have someone like Woods, however. There wasn't a player on their roster they could trust with being that base-package 1-tech — a guy who can eat space and take on multiple blockers. That's what this Jets' defense needed last year, and it's what they needed to add this offseason.
The Jets bolstered their pass rush in the draft with the addition of Will McDonald. On Wednesday, they made sure that their run defense was boosted in a big way as well.