Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 6/1/12

Derek Wolfe works in a drill with fellow defensive linemen Sealver Siliga (98) and Ben Garland. (Andrew Mason/MaxDenver.com).

Denver Broncos top draft pick Derek Wolfe won’t be solely relegated to the defensive tackle position his rookie season. In fact, he could see more time at defensive end than DT, reports the Denver Post.

“(Wolfe’s) not a big tackle right now,” defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said. “So right now his body type is probably more of a base end that can slide inside (in the nickel). We’ll play him at both spots.”

Wolfe is listed by the Broncos at 300 lbs., and only two defensive linemen are listed at a higher weight, so Del Rio’s comments are curious. The defensive ends on the roster all fall in the 260-275 lbs. range. The defensive tackles all sit right around 300. Why would Wolfe be considered undersized?

That’s because those numbers don’t yet take into account how Broncos’ d-linemen are bulking up, per Del Rio’s orders. Reports have DT Kevin Vickerson at 324 (listed at 290). DE Ben Garland is reportedly at 305 (listed at 275). Clearly size matters to Del Rio.

Last year Robert Ayers played the role of DE/DT base/nickel hybrid, but that role didn’t come naturally to him. Coming out of college, Ayers was scouted as a ‘tweener of a different type altogether — one of the DE/OLB variety.

Ayers did pretty well in the role and really came on near the end of the season, but now he’s got a top draft pick pushing him for a starting role.

And in Jack Del Rio’s world where size matters, Wolfe has two inches and 20 lbs. on the 2009 first round pick. Training camp will be fun to watch.


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