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Friday Round-Up: Riq Woolen, Coby Bryant Named "Breakout" Year-2 Corners by NFL Network

NFL Veteran and Analyst Brian Baldinger ranks second-year cornerbacks, selecting Seahawks’ Riq Woolen and Coby Bryant amongst the top-10.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Friday, August 4 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

In 2022, Seattle got a great return on investment out of rookie cornerbacks Riq Woolen and Coby Bryant. After Bryant tied for No. 2 in the NFL in forced fumbles (4) and Woolen tied for No. 1 in interceptions (6), NFL Network insider Brian Baldinger ranks the pair as Top-10 second-year “breakout” cornerbacks.

Former NFL offensive lineman and NFL Network insider Brian "Baldy" Baldinger is very vocal on social media about the budding talent league-wide. More than 350,000 followers on Twitter tune in to his daily feed, consisting of game film with voiceover as he breaks down play-by-play. From the 2022 preseason, Baldinger has been dialed in on Seattle's rookie class, but the pair has caught his eyes in more ways than one.

It didn't take many games for Woolen to catch Baldinger's attention last season, so much so that he earned a nickname: "The Shadow." Baldinger breaks down why despite Woolen's outstanding rookie campaign that ended in a trip to the 2022 Pro Bowl - that the 6-foot-4 University of Texas-San Antonio alum can become even better this year.

Wait a second -- didn't the fifth-round pick already break out, making the Pro Bowl as a rookie? Yes, he very well could have made my list of the NFL's top 10 CBs. Woolen tied for first in the NFL with six interceptions (including one pick-six), ranked first in total takeaways with eight and tied for fourth with 16 passes defensed. Those stats are great for any cornerback, let alone a rookie. So why did I include him in this piece? Well, I anticipate Woolen will establish himself among the VERY BEST at the position in 2023. The 6-foot-4 freak is gonna break out again, joining Sauce Gardner as one of the league's young stars.

The thing that jumped off the screen to me was Woolen's make-up speed. His feet routinely rescued him and put him in position when his eyes were wrong. I called him "The Shadow" -- because his shadow is the only thing as fast as him.

P.S.: Woolen told me he likes the nickname.

Across 17 games played and six starts, Bryant combined for 70 tackles, four tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, four pass deflections and 2.0 sacks. Baldinger breaks down why Bryant's slot value adds to an overall high-potential Seattle secondary for 2023.

Bryant started just six games as a rookie but was a fixture defending the slot all year, compiling a nice stat line in the process with four passes defensed, four forced fumbles, four tackles for loss and two sacks. Most impressively, he racked up 52 solo tackles. There's a lot of talk about a potential Legion of Boom 2.0 with Tariq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon, Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams and Bryant. I wouldn't put anything past this group. _

As Seattle inches closer to proving themselves on the field in 2023, they continue to rally believers across national media.

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