2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tariq Woolen

  • Tariq Woolen, 6-4/205

  • Cornerback

  • UTSA

  • Tariq Woolen Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Excellent size/speed combination
  • Very tall
  • Extremely fast
  • Elite speed
  • Great length, height
  • Leaping ability
  • Has enough height to defend big receivers, tight ends
  • Weapon to cover pass-receiving tight ends
  • Long, press-man corner
  • Tough to get passes by him
  • Nice recoverability
  • Athletic
  • Quick feet

  • Weaknesses:
  • Extremely raw
  • Only two seasons at corner
  • Needs a lot of development
  • Lacks instincts
  • Poor technique
  • Poor route recognition
  • Gets out of position in zone
  • Not a contributor in run defense
  • Not tough
  • Terrible tackler

  • Summary: Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy made waves in the draft community last fall when he posted that Tariq Woolen could be a second- or third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. After reaching out to some area scouts who cover Texas, two of them said they had Woolen on Day 3 and one said they had him on Day 2. Woolen only played two seasons of cornerback after moving from wide receiver, but he showed a superb skill set with daunting size and serious speed for the position. In 2020, Woolen collected 35 tackles, one interception and four passes broken up. In 2021, he totaled 25 tackles, an interception and five passes defended. While he did not impress at the Senior Bowl, Woolen showed tremendous straight-line speed at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine with a 40 time of 4.30 seconds.

    In pass coverage, Woolen would fit best as a bump-and-run cornerback. He is big enough to be a press-man corner who manipulates the route that receivers can run after his jam. Woolen has god-given height and length to handle big receivers. Along with his size, Woolen has above-average athletic ability to run with receivers downfield, and he uses his length to help him recover. Given his leaping ability and long frame, Woolen is able to extend to break up passes and close gaps to prevent completions.

    There is no doubt that Woolen is raw and needs development for the NFL. He has a severe lack of instincts and poor route recognition. That showed in his inconsistent play against receivers with his back turned to the quarterback and getting stuck out of position in zone. Woolen also is a poor tackler and needs to get much tougher. Not only does his tackling form need improvement, but he needs to show more attitude and become willing to tackle. Woolen will be a big-time project for his NFL defensive backs coach, and he is going to need a red-shirt season to develop before he should be trusted to cover pro receivers.

    Woolen could go on the second day during the 2012 NFL Draft, he and should not fall lower than the early rounds of Day 3.

    Player Comparison: Kevin King. Woolen is similar size and speed to King, but King was far more polished coming into the NFL. If Woolen is able to develop and sticks in the NFL, he could be a corner comparable to King.


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