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Tariq Woolen is a Freak, but can the Commanders Mold him into a Starter?

CB help for the Commanders?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 19 Stephen F. Austin at UTSA Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tariq Woolen, CB

School: UTSA | Conference: Conference USA

College Experience: Redshirt Senior | Age: 22

Height / Weight: 6’4” / 205 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 2nd – 4th Round

Player Comparison: Richard Sherman

College Statistics

Player Overview

A standout athlete in track, basketball, and football, Tariq Woolen was recruited by UTSA to play wide receiver. After three years at the position, Woolen switched to cornerback as the coronavirus pandemic began. Unable to be around the team, he worked with an indoor football player on technique and learned coverages from Madden NFL. This season, Woolen along with a group of talented players like Spencer Burford, Sincere McCormick, and Frank Harris, led the Roadrunners to a historic season, losing only one game in the regular season. He earned all-Conference USA honorable mention.

Strengths

· Huge cornerback with long arms and elite speed

· Physical player with no problems hitting ball carriers

· Uses speed and length to make plays in trail technique

· Uses knowledge as former wideout to read routes and hands of receivers

Weaknesses

· Only two years at cornerback and is very raw

· Needs to turn and look for the ball in the air

· Not many interceptions in two years at cornerback

· Appeared to play a lot of man coverage; can he play zone?

Let’s see his work

How He Fits On The Team

There are a number of players that have found success at cornerback in the NFL after playing wide receiver in college. Tariq Woolen definitely has the tools to be a part of that lineage. While he is raw and will need a lot coaching to reach his potential, you cannot coach his size and athleticism. Those are things that would be welcome in the Commanders’ secondary.

Washington’s cornerback position appears settled. We should see a combination of William Jackson III, Kendall Fuller, and Benjamin St. Juste on the field at corner when the season begins. Behind these three, it is a question of depth at the position. Take into account that St. Juste and Jackson III dealt with injuries last season and cornerback looks like a higher priority position. The team added Corn Elder and DJ Hayden as depth, but that shouldn’t stop them from improving the position through the draft. Drafting and developing a player like Woolen could mean having a young and affordable corner and possibly moving a veteran for another player or draft capital. And can Ron Rivera say no to a big, long, athletic corner?