Rookie Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen shines, shows skill during team scrimmage

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The Seattle Seahawks held their annual mock game scrimmage on Saturday at Lumen Field, and a rookie receiver-turned-cornerback shined.


Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen had a big game against his offensive teammates. He broke up Geno Smith’s pass intended for wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to force a field goal. Woolen also knocked away a throw from Drew Lock late in the first half of Seattle’s mock game Saturday at Lumen Field.

Coach Pete Carroll described the day he saw from Woolen.

“This was really good work for him, he was out there with Quandre (Diggs) and Jamal (Adams) hollering at him and getting him lined up. It was a really profitable day for him,” Carroll said.

Woolen is a 2022 fifth-round draft pick by the Seahawks from the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners. Originally Woolen started as a wide receiver, but made the switch to defense.

The 6’4” cornerback ran the 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds at the NFL combine, catching Seattle’s attention.

His speed, height and length don’t go unnoticed, Smith said.

“He’s a physical specimen, I mean he’s amazing,” Smith said post scrimmage. “He’s taller than me and a lot faster than I am so you know when you’re trying to throw passes on a guy like that, you really can see his wingspan. I mean he can make a ton of plays and not many guys who can, you know, run step for step with DK Metcalf and Marquise Goodwin, but he’s one of them.”

Woolen said his speed is his biggest strength.

“I just feel like speed is my greatest asset. I ran track my whole life, played football my whole life…I just feel like all that speed has carried throughout the years and now I can show it to the world and show it to my teammates,” he said post scrimmage.

As far as adjusting to the NFL, Woolen described the process as being smooth and that he’s finding his way and trusting the process that the Seahawks have for him. Working with stars like Metcalf and Goodwin helps build that comfort.

“It helps alot and whenever you look at a player that’s a great cornerback at practice, they go against great receivers. So I’m going against DK (Metcalf), Tyler Lockett, Marquise (Goodwin), Freddie (Swain), all those guys and being able to work with them and knowing if I do my job versus them, on Sunday, it’ll make it a lot easier so just going against them has been a lot of help,” Woolen said.

He believes if he keeps working he will continue to build confidence, but acknowledges mistakes will make him better.

“I just try to have a next play mentality really,” Woolen said post scrimmage. “You’re only as good as the next play you make. So, of course, I may go make a PBU or something like that, but, if I’m not doing it on a consistent basis, then it isn’t anything. As long as I keep having the ‘next play’ mentality, and keep working, and keep doing the good things, it just builds a lot of confidence too. Even if you do something bad, it just helps, because you have other plays to make. And, one play, sometimes it may dictate a game. As long as you do well on that one play that game, and actually help the team win, that’s all that matters.”