Tariq Woolen, CB
Every year there’s a player who falls in the draft only to surprise everyone with his instant production in the league and last year’s iteration was cornerback Tariq Woolen.
On paper, Woolen looked like the sort of tantalizing prospect with mouth-watering measurables from the pre-draft season that would have forced a team’s hand far before the Seahawks grabbed him in the fifth round. After all, he’s a 6’4” cornerback who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds. Length and speed will typically play.
That said, questions lingered over Woolen’s stock knowing that he could never quite dominate as hoped at Texas-San Antonio. While Woolen was productive, he wasn’t exactly the Darrelle Revis of Conference USA, and a lot of scouts would have loved to see Woolen shutting things down in the secondary against clearly inferior opponents.
Then again, what did they know? Woolen was a Pro Bowl performer in his first year with a league-leading 6 interceptions. He also deflected 16 passes and recovered 3 fumbles, showing he has a nose for the football like few defensive backs.
The Seahawks looked like they grabbed a shutdown corner in the fifth round of the same draft they also added the first two players on this list, not to mention other young contributors. What a draft!