Tariq Woolen - Seahawks cornerback
Tariq Woolen surprised many national talking heads with his play in 2022. As a rookie, Woolen came in, played mostly excellent outside corner, and had 6 interceptions which tied for the league lead. But teams started to figure him out a bit by the end of the season. They clearly had not watched tape on him earlier in the year because they seemed surprised by his speed. Woolen also didn't mind being physical either.
Still, teams worked Woolen a bit more with crossing patterns and this seemed to confuse him in scheme and he tracked behind receivers more later in the year. Sometimes, like his magnificent play against the Kansas City Chiefs when he batted a pass down in the end zone, Woolen's speed allowed him to catch up to a receiver after they had passed him. But expecting that to happen instead of just play fundamentally sound corner is a mistake.
Plus, as the season wore on last year, Woolen struggled more with his tackling. He doesn't mind hitting someone, but again, sometimes fundamentals got in the way. In Week 17 against the New York Jets, Woolen missed 3 tackles. In Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers, he missed 4 tackles. Thise two games alone equaled his missed tackle total for the first 12 games combined. Plus, five of Woolen's worst games in terms of receiving yardage allowed came in the second half of the season.
Woolen also didn't have an interception after Week 13 and only had 2 after Week 6. My point in all of this isn't that Tariq Woolen is going to be bad in 2023. Hopefully, he is still great. But maybe we should expect the second half of 2022 Woolen to be the normal Woolen we see. That's still a good corner, but just not the great corner some thought he might become.