The defensive rookie of the year award is one of the most sought-after honors in all of professional football. Over the last 20 years, this award has gone to a defensive lineman or a linebacker 18 times, but it’s only gone to a cornerback just twice. In 2015, Marcus Peters won the award with Kansas City, while in 2017, Marshon Lattimore won it with the Saints. Outside of these two players, the last defensive back to win was Charles Woodson back during the 1998 season. It goes without saying that for a cornerback to win, they have to not only be incredible, but they have to be a household name too.
During this season, there are two cornerbacks that have a good shot at winning. Those players are Sauce Gardner from the New York Jets, as well as Tariq Woolen from the Seattle Seahawks. Now while I think Sauce Gardner is a household name given that he was a Top 5 pick and his name is very memorable, not many people really know about Woolen outside of Seattle. He’s a cornerback that after getting selected in the fifth round is having an amazing season. He is somebody that definitely deserves our attention and I think he’s going to be a foundational piece for the Seahawks’ defense.
Is this the season where we’ll finally recognize a defensive back for Defensive Rookie of the Year? In my opinion, I think Tariq Woolen makes a very strong case to win.
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