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NFL Draft Profile: Colby Wooden, Defensive Lineman, Auburn Tigers

NFL draft profile scouting report for Auburn defensive lineman, Colby Wooden

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#25
Pos: DL
Ht: 6050
Wt: 278
DOB: 12/21/00
Eligible: 2022
Lawrenceville, GA
Archer High School

Colby Wooden
Auburn Tigers


Pros:

Ezring: Auburn’s 2021 defense is loaded with NFL Draft prospects. Among them, third-year sophomore Colby Wooden had a breakout season in 2020. A well-built player with experience out of a two and three-point stance, the Georgia native plays across the Tigers’ defensive line. Upon contact, Wooden exhibits active hands and works to keep opponents’ punches off his chest. Late into the snap, he disengages with hand counters. The talented defensive end has the length to establish and manage distance; when setting the edge, he uses leverage and his long arms to stack and window linemen. Similarly, Wooden shows glimpses of power when he combines his length with leverage to bench press offensive linemen and walk through tight ends. Against the run, the athletic defender flashes the anchor to eat space. Further, the intriguing defensive end boasts a reasonable first step out of his stance, especially when working up the interior. What’s more, he penetrates with that burst to impact the run game by disrupting the ball carrier’s path. When offensive tackles attempt to engage with stagnant feet, Wooden blows by them with short-area quickness. As a rush three-tech, the Archer product displays impressive speed moves up the interior. His swim move is particularly effective. Finally, Wooden plays with a hot motor in every phase of the game. He chases plays down and can track ball carriers to the sideline.

Leinweber: Lining up as anywhere from seven to three-technique for the Tigers, Wooden uses a double hand swipe to beat the punch of slow guards. In the run game, he takes advantage of guards taking bad angles by beating them with an arm-over move. When Wooden is able to stay low and gain inside hand positioning he has the strength required to stand blockers up. 

Cons:

Ezring: While the Auburn defensive lineman offers intriguing movement skills, his game is plagued by underdeveloped technique and inefficacy. Wooden’s hands are often late and inaccurate. He rarely initiates contact and exhibits a limited set of rush moves. His unrefined pass rush plans leave him primarily reliant on counters. Further, Wooden must learn to read an offensive tackle’s inside shoulder to better threaten the inside track. Moreover, the Georgia native does not use salesmanship in his rushes. Additionally, his high pad level and poor weight distribution lead to insufficient balance. Wooden frequently works too far upfield in his pass rush and against the run. The Auburn standout’s most concerning trait is his power. He lacks the lower body strength to create a push; conversely, offensive linemen control and displace him too easily. He even has trouble against some tight ends and running backs. Although Wooden is slowed by contact to his frame, his improper technique and pad level invite hands to his chest. What’s more, his limited change of direction allows opponents to mirror him. Wooden is unable to corner or bend the edge up the outside track. In run defense, he plays with concerning gap discipline. He fails to read the mesh point with any regularity and often misdiagnoses plays. As a tackler, Wooden targets the ball carrier’s inside leg, does not wrap up and has below-average grip strength.

Leinweber: A below-average athlete throughout, his first step and burst do not threaten offensive linemen. Wooden is unable to stay square when moving laterally, having to turn his body due to ankle stiffness. His balance is poor as he frequently falls over due to him leaning. Offensive linemen gain access to his frame because he does not beat their punch. Wooden lacks a sufficient anchor, getting displaced vertically and blown up by combo blockers. His poor hand violence prevents him from disengaging from blockers. He struggles with tight ends playing slow. Wooden possesses below average length, allowing blockers to outreach him and latch. He is not alert, running into cut blocks. 

Summary:

Ezring: An impressive mover who has room to grow with experience, Colby Wooden’s projection to the NFL is fairly cloudy. His raw game renders him ineffective against the pass and inconsistent against the run. What’s more, his underwhelming power profile limits his upside in the league. Still, the defender’s athleticism offers an intriguing base. He lacks scheme and positional versatility. Wooden projects as a pure 3-4 defensive end who can kick inside on rush downs. 

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Leinweber: Thick defensive end who has been adding weight throughout his collegiate career to move further inside. Wooden is versatile and flashes the ability to win the leverage battle. His athleticism is below average and he plays slowly, preventing him from disengaging. Wooden projects as a camp body at 3-4 defensive end who is difficult to project due to his body transformation. At the moment he lacks sufficient traits to stick on a practice squad.

Background:

Born December 21st, 2000 to parents Nicole and Irvin Wooden in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Colby Wooden has one younger brother (Caleb). A standout athlete at Archer High School, the now Auburn star helped lead his team to the state Class 7A semifinals. He also received first-team all-state, all-county and all-region honors. After his stellar high school career, Wooden was listed as a four-star recruit by 247Sports Composite Rankings. The same service named him the 345th-overall recruit nationally, the 22nd-best weak-side defensive end in the class and the 38th-ranked player from Georgia in his year. Despite redshirting in his true freshman 2019 season, Wooden played in three games. He recorded four tackles and one tackle for loss. The Archer product broke out in 2020 with 41 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss (good for third in the SEC) and four sacks. He also defended one pass. Since enrolling early at Auburn, Wooden has grown substantially. First named on the Tigers’ roster in 2018 thanks to his early enrollment, Wooden was listed at 6040 and 239 pounds. The 2019 Auburn roster had him at 6040 and 243 pounds. In 2020, Wooden was recorded to be 268 pounds on the Tigers’ roster. Entering the 2021 season, the school has him at 275 pounds and 6050. Wooden studies in the college of business. 


One-Liners

Ezring: An impressive mover for his size, Colby Wooden’s underdeveloped rush plans exacerbate his underwhelming power profile and flexibility; he lacks the versatility to fit multiple schemes or positions.

Leinweber: Thick defensive end transitioning his body to a full-time interior role. Wooden is a below-average athlete who plays slow.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Ezring: 5.7 / 6.8

Leinweber: 5.2 / 5.4


#25
Pos: DL
Ht: 6050
Wt: 278
DOB: 12/21/00
Eligible: 2022
Lawrenceville, GA
Archer High School

Colby Wooden
Auburn Tigers


Pros:

Ezring: Auburn’s 2021 defense is loaded with NFL Draft prospects. Among them, third-year sophomore Colby Wooden had a breakout season in 2020. A well-built player with experience out of a two and three-point stance, the Georgia native plays across the Tigers’ defensive line. Upon contact, Wooden exhibits active hands and works to keep opponents’ punches off his chest. Late into the snap, he disengages with hand counters. The talented defensive end has the length to establish and manage distance; when setting the edge, he uses leverage and his long arms to stack and window linemen. Similarly, Wooden shows glimpses of power when he combines his length with leverage to bench press offensive linemen and walk through tight ends. Against the run, the athletic defender flashes the anchor to eat space. Further, the intriguing defensive end boasts a reasonable first step out of his stance, especially when working up the interior. What’s more, he penetrates with that burst to impact the run game by disrupting the ball carrier’s path. When offensive tackles attempt to engage with stagnant feet, Wooden blows by them with short-area quickness. As a rush three-tech, the Archer product displays impressive speed moves up the interior. His swim move is particularly effective. Finally, Wooden plays with a hot motor in every phase of the game. He chases plays down and can track ball carriers to the sideline.

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