Originally posted on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 7/28/12

Denver Broncos rookie defensive lineman Derek Wolfe during training camp Saturday, July 28, 2012. (BroncoTalk.net photo)

One play, Derek Wolfe burst through the offensive line, sharing a sack of Caleb Hanie with Malik Jackson. A play later, he dove on a botched snap for the fumble recovery.

All this from the right defensive end position. Wolfe was drafted as a defensive tackle.

“I’m playing the call side defensive end right now, the three technique. Just all over the d-line,” Wolfe said. “That’s what I did in college, I played all over the place. I do what they need me to do.”

Versatility wasn’t what the Denver Broncos were looking for when they drafted Derek Wolfe with the 36th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. What the Broncos need from Wolfe — and what they drafted him for — was his notable relentlessness. They need someone tenacious on the defensive line who doesn’t quit. Wolfe fits that bill.

“I’m not the type of guy that’s going to run around you. I’m going to try to go through you,” boasted Wolfe. “That’s what happens when you put pads on. You try to go through people, you try to be physical.”

Wolfe finally had his opportunity to be physical today as the Broncos donned full pads for the first time. In limited work he made the plays noted earlier and also got into the opposing quarterback’s face on at least one other occasion. Those highlights are encouraging to say the least, but if he Wolfe can perform similarly from an inside three-technique position, the Broncos would be even happier.

“Coach (John) Fox said it best, ‘It’s not really football when you don’t have pads on,’” Wolfe offered. “Up front, physicality’s all that really matters. It’s just nice to be able to put your weight on people and for the first time, to feel how I [hold] up to these guys.”

Denver Broncos defensive linemen Robert Ayers and Derek Wolfe look on as teammates participate in drills during the team's training camp practice on Saturday, July 28, 2012. (BroncoTalk.net photo)

Wolfe is still learning, and certain parts of that learning curve will be steep. Defensive tackle is notorious for being one of the most difficult positions for a young rookie to excel at at the professional level — perhaps only second to quarterback. Take Wolfe’s fumble recovery, for instance. Even making a play like that didn’t come without a stern critique from his coaches, reminding him that he’s not in Cincinnati anymore.

“I got yelled at for it, because I fell,” Wolfe said, laughing. “You’re supposed to stay up. In college you’re not allowed to pick it up and run once you hit the ground.”

Critiquing aside, Wolfe showed that his no-quit attitude will offer more than just an unyielding line of scrimmage for the Broncos. His doggedness will open up opportunities to make plays.

“Just do your job and good things will happen, that’s the way I’ve always looked at it. The ball comes to you when you’re in the right spot.”


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

USF suspends DB indefinitely for role in shooting, arrest

Elway: Broncos plan to 'stay the course' with Siemian, Lynch

Boykin may have violated probation, could face jail time

Six reasons Raiders' move to Las Vegas will be awesome

Kraft: Patriots do not intend to trade Malcolm Butler

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Marshall talks about how he can help Odell Beckham

Scherzer makes Tebow look silly in spring training at-bat

Lonzo Ball discusses headlines his father creates

Laettner taunts Kentucky after Elite Eight heartbreaker

Chargers finally sell out season tickets after two months

Report: Heat still hoping to trade Chris Bosh

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker