Woolen’s rookie campaign nearly landed him the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, losing to New York Jets corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The University of Texas-San Antonio alum became a rookie sensation, dazzling with his rare combination of size, speed and skill. The 6-foot-4 cornerback tied for No. 4 league-wide in passes defensed with 16, while chipping in 63 combined tackles and two fumble recoveries.
This month, Pro Football Focus writer Trevor Sikkema rated Woolen as one of the Top 25 NFL players under 25 (No.24). Frelund broke down why Woolen’s play (and rookie deal) makes him an immense value for Seattle.
APY: $998,054 (rookie contract; 175th among cornerbacks).
In his rookie campaign, the fifth-round pick tied for the league lead with six interceptions and posted a whopping 16 pass breakups. His 23.2 percent ball hawk rate (a Next Gen Stats measure of how often a player disrupts a pass divided by targets as the nearest defender) was the third-highest mark in the NFL last season, while his 31.9 passer rating allowed as the nearest defender in zone coverage was the lowest mark in the league. I know Woolen got some love for his excellent debut season, but he was still largely overshadowed by fellow rookie corner Sauce Gardner. I’m here with flowers in hand.
As Woolen prepares for his second season with Seattle, the cat is now out the bag about the fifth-round gem in Frelund’s eyes.