Originally posted on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 4/27/12

Bearcat turned Bronco: Cincinnati DT Derek Wolfe is the Denver Broncos' top draft choice in 2012.

The Denver Broncos select DT Derek Wolfe with their top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and my initial reaction was similar to that of many others’.

“Who?!”

Of course, I’m half-joking. I had heard of Wolfe. He was just a defensive tackle I had hardly scouted compared to the likes of Michael Brockers, Jerel Worthy, or Devon Still. With Worthy and Still still available when the Broncos made the pick, you can understand my bewilderment at the selection of Wolfe.

That bewilderment was quickly replaced by excitement. Wolfe appears to be a beast. Consider:

  • Productive — Wolfe had a hugely productive 2011 season, tallying 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Those numbers are better than both Still and Worthy had in 2011.
  • Relentless — Where Worthy and Still both have up-and-down motor concerns, Wolfe is renowned for his relentlessness. For example: the lean DT broke through a triple team in the fourth quarter of Cincinnati’s game against Pittsburgh in 2011 for a sack (an intentional grounding). I like defensive tackles who break through triple teams in fourth quarters for sacks.
  • Quoteable – Wolfe told 104.3 FM Denver minutes after being drafted, “I just like to kick ass.” He also told reporters in a conference call he intends to push for a starting job on the DL right away.
  • Measurables – He had a killer combine, running a 5.01 40-time (better than both Still/Worthy) and putting up 33 reps on the bench press (also better than Still/Worthy).

The main knocks against Wolfe are his maturity before his senior year (being a one-year wonder), and the level of competition. Those are legit concerns. But the Broncos are betting they got a steal in this versatile 6’5″, 298-pounder.


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