The Seattle Seahawks have had some iconic defensive backs over the years, particularly in the last decade. Despite legendary players from the Legion of Boom, one analyst believes the Seahawks have drafted a rookie who could become the greatest cornerback in franchise history.
SI.com’s Matty F. Brown made a film meltdown about Seattle’s fifth-round pick, former UTSA cornerback Tariq Woolen, after the 2022 NFL draft. Although it’s a day 3 choice. Woolen’s size and athleticism give him the potential to become the all-time best Seahawks cornerback, according to Brown.
“The Seattle Seahawks decided to double-dip at the cornerback position in the 2022 NFL Draft and emphasized their need at the position — which was somehow even greater than 2021,” Brown said. “Your second choice for the position, Tariq Woolen, was only selected in the fifth round. And yet its immense potential points to far greater value.”
For a prospect who only started playing the cornerback position a few years ago, Woolen has the untapped potential that could make him one of the most impressive cornerbacks in the league a few years from now.
Woolen started his collegiate career as a wide receiver, playing the position in 2018 and 2019, but switched to the other side of the ball in his sophomore season. He started to feel comfortable in 2020 and then made a big step in 2021 despite missing time with a hand injury. In his final collegiate season, he was an honorable mention to the All-Conference USA selection, recording one interception and five pass separations in just nine games.
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While he’s still learning the position, Woolen’s size and athleticism make him such an exciting candidate. At 6’4″ and 205 pounds, he’s already one of the tallest cornerbacks in the league and one of the fastest. His 40-yard dash time of 4.26 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine was one of the fastest times ever recorded at the event.
With this size and speed profile, it’s easy to see why Seahawks fans are so excited about the fifth-round pick.
Woolen has huge shoes to fill if he is to become the greatest cornerback in Seahawks history. That title is currently owned by Richard Sherman, who was the face of the Legion of Boom and helped give the Seahawks their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Sherman’s accolades include three first-team All-Pro selections, five Pro Bowls and a 2010 NFL All-Decade-Team selection. That’s plenty for a five-round pick to live up to.
The 34-year-old was a fan of Seattle’s draft overall but highlighted the other cornerback the Seahawks drafted in Coby Bryant. The former Cincinnati cornerer was the 2021 Jim Thorpe Honoree, honoring college football’s best defenseman.
“To win a thorpe and go into round four is just wild,” Sherman said in his podcast. “I think the Seahawks got a bargain. I think he will be a longtime starter for them. He’ll take the corner seat, which is pretty vacant.”
That’s kudos from Sherman, and both rookie cornerbacks will look to secure starting jobs in the coming months leading up to the start of the 2022 season.