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NFL Draft Profile: Tariq Woolen, Cornerback, UTSA Roadrunners

NFL draft profile scouting report for UTSA cornerback, Tariq Woolen

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2636

#3
Pos: CB
Ht: 6035
Wt: 206
DOB: 5/2/99
Eligible: 2022
Fort Worth, TX
Arlington Heights High School

Tariq Woolen
UTSA Roadrunners


Pros:

Ezring: Redshirt seniors are typically experienced prospects that teams hope can contribute early. Tariq Woolen, though, transitioned from wide receiver to cornerback at the end of the 2019 season; 2021 was only his second full year on defense. Nonetheless, he has notably grown week to week and season to season since making the change. The Texas native boasts excellent size, length, and fluidity for his frame. While Woolen’s play speed does not match up with his reported 4.34 40-yard dash time, it is sufficient when aided by physicality. That said, he looked faster in 2021 than he did in 2020. Woolen does his best work in press. His footwork and hands at the line have progressed as he has gained experience. When transitioning, the Roadrunners’ star uses his length and physicality to slow opponents down and throw off their timing. Still, Woolen remains physical and rarely lunges ahead of his base. The defender’s strength, length, and movement skills enable him to stick with any mold of receiver. Woolen’s mirroring ability saw a jump from 2020 to 2021, sparked, in part, by his decreasing his false steps. The UTSA corner typically keeps his hand in the receiver’s hip pocket to feel out routes. Woolen uses his length and physicality to recover when necessary. He practices sound eye discipline. In zone, he flashes spatial awareness while reading the passer. Woolen displays physicality, timing, and hand-eye coordination at the catch point. He plays with proper gap integrity against the run.

Cons:

Ezring: Despite his intriguing skill set and athletic profile, UTSA’s star corner is not a perfect prospect. The raw defender will experience a learning curve in the NFL as he continues his development. Moreover, Woolen’s burst is underwhelming. Likewise, his limited play speed hurts his ability to recover without physicality. In soft press and off-man coverage, the cornerback takes too many false steps against head fakes and jab steps. What’s more, he sometimes overcommits with his punches in press - especially in 2020. Further, Woolen follows receivers in their releases instead of cutting them off; this wasted motion leaves him scrambling to achieve low shoulder position. He should also continue to develop his hand usage in man; his 2020 tendency to keep his hand on the opponent’s shoulder rather than in their hip pocket occasionally shows its head in 2021. Woolen is not suited for off coverage and his press technique needs work. He often gives up inside leverage and fails to recover after baiting the quarterback. Woolen lacks the burst and route anticipation to succeed in zone. He is easily confused by route combinations. At the catch point, Woolen struggles to turn his head to find the ball. Against the run, he is generally disinterested. He hardly works to beat blockers or make tackles; he does not wrap up.

Summary:

Ezring: A recent wide receiver convert, UTSA’s star defender has the tools necessary to be a starting press-man corner at the next level. The Texas native has a truly rare combination of length and fluidity. That said, Woolen is a raw, outside-only corner whose immediate value comes only in press coverage. His special teams impact is questionable. His intriguing size, athleticism, and natural ability in press-man should make him rosterable as a rookie. 

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Background:

Born on May 2nd, 1999 to parents Jerome Woolen and Nola Davis in Fort Worth, Texas, Tariq Woolen has one sister and one brother. The standout athlete excelled at several sports at Arlington Heights High School. In addition to being an all-district basketball player and Newcomer of the Year on the hardwood as a junior, Woolen was a member of the track and field team. On the gridiron, he led the team to an 11-1 record as a junior. As a senior, he paced the program with 31 receptions, 536 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He was named first-team All-District 7-5A that year. After his strong high school career, Woolen received a three-star rating from 247Sports Composite Rankings. The same outlet named him the 1003rd-best player in the nation, the 142nd-overall wide receiver in his class, and the 138th-ranked recruit from Texas that year. Woolen chose UTSA over notable programs like Houston and Baylor. The Fort Worth native redshirted his freshman year with the Roadrunners; he was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll that year. As a redshirt freshman in 2018, he played in 12 games, starting three, at wide receiver. He made 15 catches for 158 yards and one touchdown. The next season, he started three of the nine games he played in. He posted nine receptions for 105 yards before moving to cornerback towards the end of the season. As a redshirt junior in 2020, Woolen played in 11 games and started seven. He recorded 35 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, four pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, and one interception. To this point in 2021, Woolen has been a standout at corner. He earned his bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies in May of 2021. 


One-Liners

Ezring: A long and fluid wide receiver convert, Tariq Woolen has the tools necessary to develop into a starting press-man cornerback at the next level; he does not offer much positional or scheme versatility.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Ezring: 6.8 / 8.2


#3
Pos: CB
Ht: 6035
Wt: 206
DOB: 5/2/99
Eligible: 2022
Fort Worth, TX
Arlington Heights High School

Tariq Woolen
UTSA Roadrunners


Pros:

Ezring: Redshirt seniors are typically experienced prospects that teams hope can contribute early. Tariq Woolen, though, transitioned from wide receiver to cornerback at the end of the 2019 season; 2021 was only his second full year on defense. Nonetheless, he has notably grown week to week and season to season since making the change. The Texas native boasts excellent size, length, and fluidity for his frame. While Woolen’s play speed does not match up with his reported 4.34 40-yard dash time, it is sufficient when aided by physicality. That said, he looked faster in 2021 than he did in 2020. Woolen does his best work in press. His footwork and hands at the line have progressed as he has gained experience. When transitioning, the Roadrunners’ star uses his length and physicality to slow opponents down and throw off their timing. Still, Woolen remains physical and rarely lunges ahead of his base. The defender’s strength, length, and movement skills enable him to stick with any mold of receiver. Woolen’s mirroring ability saw a jump from 2020 to 2021, sparked, in part, by his decreasing his false steps. The UTSA corner typically keeps his hand in the receiver’s hip pocket to feel out routes. Woolen uses his length and physicality to recover when necessary. He practices sound eye discipline. In zone, he flashes spatial awareness while reading the passer. Woolen displays physicality, timing, and hand-eye coordination at the catch point. He plays with proper gap integrity against the run.

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