Denver Broncos: Defensive Player Spotlight – Derek Wolfe

The Denver Broncos defense is something to write home to mom. They are a perennial top five defense. With Players like Von Miller, Aqib Talib, and Chris Harris Jr. they should be. They have one of the best pass rushes in the game. Some of the aforementioned are the reason for that. However, there is one other player that can be included in pass rush talk. That is DE Derek Wolfe.

The Broncos selected Wolfe with the fourth pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. At the time, many people did not know who he was. He played his college ball at the University of Cincinnati. The 6’5” 295lb d-end was one of the most complete players in the draft. At the time of his selection, the Denver Broncos had nothing on their defensive line worth talking about. This pick made sense.

Wolfe started all 16 games his rookie season. He accounted for 6 sacks, 26 tackles, and 14 assists. He immediately began making a name for himself. His six sacks were third on the team behind Von Miller and then Broncos, Elvis Dumervil.

His second season was not as successful. However, Wolfe cannot blame this on the lack of ability. He suffered a spinal cord injury in a preseason game and fought off two bouts of food poisoning. He only appeared in 11 games that year.

In 2015, the NFL suspended Wolfe for four games for violating the Performance Drug Policy. He would return to sustain himself as a necessary piece to the Denver Broncos defensive success. He would finish the season with 5.5 sacks, 36 tackles, and 14 assists. He would also include AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after an outstanding game against the Green Bay Packers.

Derek Wolfe is critical to the ongoing success of the Denver Broncos defense. He has established himself as a solid run stopper and quality pass-rusher. With the additions of Domata Peko and DeMarcus Walker, Wolfe should see a lot more freedom. Freedom to help the Broncos succeed in 2017.

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Sean Naylor

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