Jets Named Top Landing Spot for Breakout Combine Star

Tariq Woolen UTSA

Getty UTSA defensive back Tariq Woolen running through some drills at the 2022 NFL Combine.

The New York Jets were one of 32 teams represented at the 2022 NFL combine.

Their goal was to gather as much intel on the 300 plus prospects in attendance as possible. Every year a player surprises and pops when no one expects him to.

That was the case in Indianapolis in 2022 and the Jets certainly noticed.

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A Perfect Fit

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report recently was tasked with finding the ideal landing spots for all of the stars that broke out at the NFL combine.

The Jets were a popular team as a landing spot for several of these players, but one certainly stood out from the rest.

UTSA cornerback Tariq Woolen displayed why he is one of the most “unique” prospects in this upcoming draft class.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound stud has been building buzz throughout the offseason and it started in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl.

Although nothing will beat his 4.26 40-yard dash time which was the second-fastest at this year’s NFL combine. To add even more context, he tied for the fourth-fastest time in NFL combine history.

Woolen also tied for the No. 1 vertical jump with an incredible 42″ hop of any player regardless of position.

Ballentine noted that Woolen is incredibly raw “he only started playing cornerback” in the middle of the 2019 campaign. He said a team like the Jets that can “take him in the middle rounds and develop him in a zone scheme would probably be his best fit.”

Some More Juicy Intel

This feels like a classic Robert Saleh kind of player if there ever was one.

While Woolen may lack a proven track record, he also possesses undeniable traits that if developed could make him a superstar at the next level.

Saleh proved in last year’s draft that he is a trait over production kind of guy. Look at some of the dart throws on day three with Brandin Echols, Hamsah Nasirildeen, and Jamien Sherwood.

Heading into the NFL combine he was considered a “potential day two prospect”, per Pro Football Network. That would put him somewhere in the second to third-round range. Although after his stunning performance his stock is clearly on the rise.

Fortunately, the Jets are armed and dangerous with three picks on day two: No. 35, No. 38, and No. 69 overall respectively.

In his five years with the Roadrunners, Woolen started off as a wide receiver and then flipped to the other side of the ball. Over the final two years as a cornerback, he registered 60 tackles, two interceptions, and nine pass deflections.

If you take him in the draft, you’re doing so knowing that he will be a bit of a project. They say patience is a virtue and if you have it, you could be handsomely rewarded with his elite traits and size.

One thing that Woolen will have to address from his tape is his seeming “disinterest in run support”, per Lance Zierlein of NFL dot com. Several scouts said at the combine that he has shown a lack of “commitment” when a running back is headed his way.

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