Name: Derek Wolfe
Height: 6-5 Weight: 285
Age: 27 Experience: 6th
Derek Wolfe is the most important player on the interior defensive line. He is the main cog in the rotation. Whether run or pass, Wolfe is the one who will be the anchor for the defense upfront. Since joining the Broncos in 2012, he has been a monster on the field.
There have been some issues that Wolfe has been forced to overcome throughout his career. Injuries and suspensions have taken him off the field in 3 of his 5 seasons. For the Broncos to be successful, he will have to stay on the field.
Wolfe plays with reckless abandon, and he has become a fan favorite. His madman style can wreck an offense. He can get to the quarterback, eat up blockers in the run game, and break down rushing attempts with the best of the best.
He is more than just a play disrupter. He is a leader on the line. His presence is a key factor in forcing teams to do more than just game plan against Von Miller.
Injuries. Wolfe has to be on the field. The rotation of defensive linemen give the Broncos some depth. Domata Peko, Zach Kerr, Billy Winn, Jared Crick, Adam Gotsis and Demarcus Walker will be essential to the Broncos success, but if Wolfe can’t stay on the field, this will be a glaring hole in the defense. The defensive line must be better for the Broncos to be successful. Wolfe is the key.
Wolfe knows his importance on the field, and in the locker room. He knows it is on him to be more vocal, and take on more of a leadership role. During OTAs he definitely knew it was time to take on some big responsibilities.
“I didn’t speak up enough," he said. "When I saw things, I didn’t speak up and I didn’t say things when I should have. I’m not letting that [stuff] slide this year.”
Domata Peko, as a newcomer, can see Wolfe becoming more of a leader for the Broncos defense.
“Derek is the type of guy that will let you know if you’re doing some stuff wrong and get after you that type of way," Peko said during OTAs. "But also, he’s one of the hardest workers out here. He’s here every day, giving his all, giving his best."
Wolfe is extremely important to the success of the Broncos. The biggest concern on defense was stopping the run in 2016. The defense must improve in this area, and Wolfe’s leadership will be a key aspect to that.
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