Seattle Seahawks fans are one angry bunch Thursday night because of what they perceive to be a snub of cornerback Tariq Woolen for the 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Instead, the award went to New York Jets stud cornerback Sauce Gardner, as announced in the 2023 NFL Honors ceremony held at Symphony Hall in Phoenix.
“Tariq Woolen is also my defensive rookie of the year … this league tripping 🤦🏾♂️,” said Twitter user @_twinmohammed.
Another, @7seven7s, stated “People that actually watch the NFL know that Tariq Woolen and Ken Walker deserved ROY,” in support of the Seahawks cornerback.
It’s the same sentiment for @mackenzi_dugan: “I speak for everyone when I say Tariq Woolen should’ve won”
Here’s more from @wuhlens:
“Tariq Woolen just lost droty to Sauce Gardner who had: fewer interceptions, fewer touchdowns, -more yards allowed, higher completion % allowed, higher passer rating allowed — according to Pro Football Reference.”
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that Tariq Woolen was among the best rookies in the entire NFL. In his first year with the Seahawks, Woolen racked up six interceptions in 17 games (all starts). Gardner, on the other hand, had two interceptions in as many starts.
Sauce Gardner, however, was a sensation for the Jets. According to Pro Football Focus, Gardner had an overall rating of 87.9 and a coverage grade of 90.0.Woolen, on the other hand, has a 71.6 overall grade and a 77.8 coverage rating, which aren’;t bad but clearly aren’t as good as Gardner’s numbers.
Still, the Seahawks can feel great about having Woolen on their team, especially since they basically turned a fifth-round pick (153rd overall) in the 2022 NFL Draft into one of the best defensive players n the NFL right away.