Bolts Talk Twice With In-the-box Safety

Although San Diego solidified its starting safety tandem by giving Clinton Hart a new five-year contract, the search for a backup remains intense. The Bolts met with one college linebacker at the Senior Bowl and the Combine, chatting about a possible move to safety. Jaime Cattano serves up an exclusive interview with this versatile defender.

The Bolts pulled aside Wesley Woodyard of Kentucky for some one-on-one time at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. It is all part of a whirlwind offseason that has also included meetings with the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

Woodyard marked a noteworthy senior year with the Wildcats, leading the SEC with 139 tackles and earning first-team All-SEC honors. Woodyard led the Wildcats in tackles his last three seasons, reaching the century mark each year.

Woodyard's 395 career tackles with the Wildcats ranks him ninth in school history. He shined on the field with his magnetic pull to the ball. He's using his pre-draft workouts to prove to coaches that he can keep it up on the next level.

"The coaches want to see how fast I can pick up the schemes, so I'm flying around and trying to get it done. I've been trying to take the coaching tips and new techniques in my game. I just want to get better."

Woodyard's 6'1" frame jumped from 215 to 227 pounds between the Senior Bowl and Combine, but he proved his speed was still in check. He recorded a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, the second best among linebackers. He also ranked second in the 60-yard shuttle.

Woodyard came to Kentucky as a safety and moved to linebacker midway through his freshman year, so it's no wonder why teams might want to bring him back to his roots. With his great speed and field instincts, Woodyard has the incredible aggression that enables him to be a reliable open-field tackler.

Because of his size, the Bolts might see this amazing athlete better fit as a strong safety. After all, Woodyard has the tackling skills to play in the box and the agility to drop back into coverage.

Woodyard looks ahead to the next few months ready to enter a new phase in his career. He's confident he could bring the right package to San Diego.

"I'm a natural born leader and I'm ready to make the team better, wherever I am on the field. I'm just someone that loves football."


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