New Orleans Saints Biggest Draft Misses under Sean Payton: No. 8, Al Woods


Along with the rest of the league, the New Orleans Saints are drawing closer to the NFL Draft. In less than two weeks, we’ll see just how many Mock Drafts were right, wrong, and completely outlandish. With the building anticipation looming, we keep focus on our biggest draft misses under Sean Payton series, and give you a true failed experiment with LSU’s Al Woods.

Al Woods, Defensive Tackle
2010 Draft, 4th Round, #123 Overall – LSU

Woods was an interesting prospect at 6’4″, 307 pounds. NFL Draft Scout pegged him as the eleventh best defensive tackle out of 151 prospects. After winning the Super Bowl in 2009, Woods was a player that was expected to help bolster the interior defensive line for the black and gold. The New Orleans Saints saw an opportunity to nab him, and traded up seven spots with the Arizona Cardinals to land Woods, and ended up giving up a sixth-round selection (201st overall) to draft the LSU product. Sadly, Woods tenured was short-lived.

Coach Sean Payton spoke on Woods’ release, basically stating that he didn’t impress.

"“You’re hopeful for all your draft picks,” Coach Sean Payton said. “I think the mistake is maybe hanging on to them or not recognizing some of the deficiencies and all of a sudden you go two or three years into that. He did some things on a positive note that were encouraging and yet ultimately we didn’t feel confident enough with where he was at right now and we went a different direction. We’ve tried to hold true and really evaluate the players once they get here and he was an example of that.”"

After Woods was released by the Saints on September 4, 2010, he’d land with the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad three days later. On November 2, 2010, Woods would be stolen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the Steelers practice squad to see action in nine games, but was eventually released on September 3, 2011. A day later, Woods would be claimed by the Seattle Seahawks, and waived on November 8. His second tenure with the Steelers started a day later and went through the 2013 season, playing in 40 games over three season.

After being courted by several teams as a free agent heading into 2014, Woods signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Tennessee Titans on March 12, 2014, and played in all sixteen games for the team.

Some players the Saints could have drafted in that Round: Unfortunately, no notable players were to be found with the eight picks behind Woods. However, let’s look at the 5th Round: S Cam Chancellor (#133), CB Perrish Cox (#137), TE Andrew Quarless (#154), WR Riley Cooper (#159)

Stay tuned as we count down the biggest busts leading up to the NFL Draft!

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