Seahawks’ Rookie Cornerback Tariq Woolen – NFL Draft 2022 Yearbook – Scouting Report

Seahawks’ Rookie Tariq Woolen

Cornerback Tariq Woolen – NFL Draft 2022 Yearbook – Scouting Report
  Frank Coyle / Head scout – March, 2022

     Photo – Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

 Here is our Scouting Report of defender Tariq Woolen from last spring when we ranked him as the #7 cornerback in the class and projected him to be a 2nd-3rd round pick on talent and value. Incredibly, he fell to the Seattle in the 5th round, the 153rd overall selection. He has been one of the premier defenders in this rookie class which has featured several outstanding first year starters like Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner and Derek Stingley.

 After 14 games this season, Woolen has registered 51 tackles with 39 of them solo stops along with 6 interceptions and 13 pass breakups with one returned for a TD. He fits the Seahawks tradition and mold for long athletic cover men and has been arguably the best value of the entire NFL Draft 2022. He has started since training camp and has established himself as a fixture in the Seahawks secondary.

         Tariq Woolen – NFL Draft 2022 Yearbook – Scouting Report – March, 2022

 Tariq Woolen #20 – 6-4, 205 Texas-San Antonio – Sp. 4.25                          
             NFL Comparison: Greedy Williams                 Rating 85

Long athlete made a successful conversion to cornerback after starting his career as a wide receiver. Made incredible progress especially over his final season, showing natural skills and the tough demeanor to be a top flight pro. Freakish prototypical skill set for the position and really responded to coaching on the basics of the corner spot.  Strong athletic frame with very good movement skills for the position. Over his short career, he gained experience in several techniques especially man situations and has made quick improvement raising his LOD. Rare combination of length, speed, fluidity and physicality to be a top pro corner with further development. Shows outstanding length and leaping skills combined with blazing speed gives him the traits of a top flight shutdown cover man. Currently he is still developing on basics and needs work on his pedal which can be too high, in addition to a hesitation in his reads which allows separation early on the route. Reliable open-field tackling ability with sound technique and hand use to get off blockers. Good at the line when coming up to take on blockers and finish. Willing to stick his nose in the middle of the action and fights off blocks to aggressively make tackles. Able to effectively handle press coverage and adept at bump-and-run using his strong hands to deliver a powerful punch. Uses his length and strength to reroute receivers off the jam. Opens his hips smoothly with the ability to retain fine speed and tight coverage. Shows the ability to turn, run and blanket his man while maintaining good speed down the field. Displays the good vision, balance, timing and ball skills to break up passes. Finished with 2 career interceptions and 9 PBUs. Developing instincts and awareness to adjust to plays outside his zone. Needs to be more decisive in his initial reads and learn to trust his eyes. At times, he gets too physical and can grab receivers and needs to be more disciplined. Usually stays on top of deep routes, though can give up too much separation at times vs top route runners through the intermediate zones. Most effective when asked to play man coverage, though grades out high in zones. Needs work on route recognition to be NFL ready. Faced average talent and graded out highly, but must prove ready for NFL air attacks. Displays a short memory and the tough mentality the position demands. In 2021, he started 9 games and made 25 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 pick and 5 PBU, earning first team CUSA honors. Over his two seasons at corner, he started 20 games and made 60 tackles, 2 picks, 2 sacks and 9 PBUs. At the NFL Combine, he came in at over 6’4” and 205 lbs. with 33 5/8” arms and 9 1/8” hands. Ran a blazing 4.26 time and added a 42” vertical leap. Performed fairly well in big game situations, though struggled early in 2021 when he was beat for a few TDs when looking into the backfield. With more technique development and consistency, has the talent to be among the class’s best corners. Though still raw in basics, he is a talented prospect who is making real strides at the position. At the Senior Bowl, made progress in his pedal and reads, areas which must improve to get reps in the NFL. Similar to Greedy Williams/Jimmy Smith in natural skills, AA, development and hitting power. Similar not only in size but raw skill set, which needs time and refinement. Fast riser off a quick learning curve, though still raw and a work in progress on finer points of coverage. Hitter with ability to intimidate receivers and durable at a demanding position. Top 60 pick with incredible ceiling.
Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round