2015 NFL DRAFT

Derek Wolfe, DT

School: Cincinnati  |  Conference: BIGE
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Lisbon, OH
Height/Weight: 6-5 / 295 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
8282-3
Latest News
04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Broncos' picks: Round 2/36 -- Derek Wolfe, DT, 6-2, 300, Cincinnati...The Broncos got little pass-rush punch from their defensive tackles last year, and they're counting on Wolfe to change that. Wolfe had 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for losses last year, and might start immediately. - The Sports Xchange

04/30/2012 - It wasn't a quiet draft in terms of trade activity for the Broncos; John Elway made two trades down and one trade up during his second draft as the Broncos' executive vice president. But the success of Denver's class -- which featuring three players who might contribute immediately -- will be defined by the player who will take the longest to develop: Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler. BEST PICK: Running back Ronnie Hillman: Doesn't fit the every-down, between-the-tackles template of running backs used by John Fox's offenses in Carolina and Denver, but his pass-catching ability out of the backfield and moves in space make him a nice fit for a Peyton Manning-led offense. - The Sports Xchange

04/30/2012 - It wasn't until his senior year - and the months after it - that defensive tackle Derek Wolfe became a college star and leaped up the draft board. He recorded 9.5 sacks from his defensive tackle position, earned Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and burnished his status during Senior Bowl week. But that year almost didn't happen. "I almost made the worst decision of my life and left," Wolfe recalled. Desperate and in financial straits that had been a constant throughout a hardscrabble childhood, Wolfe contemplated entering the NFL Draft a year early -- when the University of Cincinnati product would have been a late-round prospect or perhaps gone undrafted entirely. "I was sitting on my bed looking at my last seven dollars," Wolfe recalled. "I was tired of asking for stuff, tired of needing favors; I was ready to start doing things on my own." His head coach, Butch Jones, dissuaded Wolfe from turning pro. "He said, 'You're going to lose a lot of money if you leave," Wolfe recalled. But that was just one example of how growing up underprivileged in Lisbon, Ohio profoundly affected him. The adversity Wolfe overcame didn't spur the Broncos to target him -- but it didn't hurt his prospects, either. "You can see that's what makes him the player that he is, and that's what will make us hungry on defense," Broncos coach John Fox said. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - DT Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati -- A good athlete who moves well and has enough power to split blocks, Wolfe had 19.5 tackles for loss last season for the Bearcats. His name might not have the cachet of many defenders ranked ahead of him, but he's described as a football junkie. Broncos fans will ask: Is he more of an overachiever than game-changer?

04/02/2012 - The best season of Derek Wolfe's career almost didn't happen. Last January, the Beaver Local High graduate had just completed a successful junior season at Cincinnati. He had $7 to his name and the mid-January deadline to apply for the NFL draft was looming. "I was tiring of living the college life where you're broke all the time," said Wolfe, speaking by phone on Thursday from Cincinnati. "It was rough." After talking to his coaches, he decided to stay. He then erupted for a conference-best 19.5 tackles for loss last season, leading the Bearcats (10-3, 5-2) to a share of the Big East title while earning co-conference player of the year honors. He ranked 12th nationally with 9.5 sacks. "It was a good decision," Wolfe said of staying. "I improved in all aspects of the game. I think I played a lot harder and a lot faster, I grew up as a player and I improved my football intelligence. "Everything ended up working out." More than a half-dozen Mahoning Valley natives have a good chance of either getting drafted later this month or getting a free agent deal soon afterward. Wolfe (6-5, 295) is a near-lock to be the first one of those picked, with several draft sites projecting him as a second- or third-round pick. He would be the first Beaver Local graduate to play in the NFL. "That's huge," said Wolfe, who joined Ohio State running back Dan Herron (Warren Harding) as one of the two Valley natives at February's NFL combine. "After my sophomore year, I started getting some interest and saw scouts coming around, asking about me and this and that. "You hear the buzz. That's when I realized I could actually do it." - Joe Scalzo, The Youngstown Vindicator

12/31/2011 - Scouting the Cincinnati run defense: Cincinnati allowed less than 100 yards rushing in four consecutive games, including negative yardage totals in two straight. But the Bearcats were more vulnerable later in the season, with Rutgers' Jawan Jamison rushing for 200 yards and Syracuse's Antwon Bailey rushing for 135 against them. - The Sports Xchange

12/30/2011 - He had $7 in his pocket and a decision to make. University of Cincinnati defensive lineman Derek Wolfe had completed his junior season and faced a mid-January deadline to apply for early entry into the 2011 NFL draft. Wolfe briefly considered the option. ''Every college athlete in my position does,'' Wolfe said. ''It was the end of the season and I was sitting there with $7 to my name. I've had a lot of help from friends and family throughout my life, but you just get tired of having to ask for stuff. ''So I thought about it and thought about it. (Cincinnati) coach (Butch) Jones had a lot to do with me sticking around. All my coaches talked to me about it and said, 'You have to make a decision that's right for you.' The pros (of returning) outweighed the cons.'' As the Bearcats, the Big East champions, prepare for Saturday's AutoZone Liberty Bowl game against Vanderbilt, Wolfe should find himself slightly more attractive to the NFL. Wolfe, 6-5 and 300 pounds, is the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year, coming off a season in which he led the league in tackles for loss (191/2 ) and ranked 12th nationally in sacks (91/2 ). ''I wouldn't say my senior year was beyond my expectations, I would say it's just a payoff,'' Wolfe said. ''I've worked so hard for so many years.'' - Phil Stukenborg, The Memphis Commercial Appeal

12/19/2011 - 2011 ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, Sr., has been selected All-BIG EAST Conference First Team for the 2011 college football season as chosen by the league's eight head coaches. Wolfe leads the BIG EAST and ranks sixth nationally with 19.5 tackles for a loss and ranks third in the league and tied for 12th in the FBS with 9.5 sacks. Wolfe sits in fourth place on the UC career sacks list with 19.5 and 10th place on the UC career tackles for loss list with 35.0. - Cincinnati football

12/09/2011 - 2011 BIG EAST CONFERENCE CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati (Sr., Lisbon, Ohio) is the first Cincinnati player to be named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year following a regular season in which he led the BIG EAST with 19.5 tackles for loss and had 9.5 sacks. He is the focal point of a Bearcat defense that limited opponents to just 92.7 rushing yards per game - good for second in the BIG EAST - and a league-low eight rushing touchdowns. - BIG EAST football

10/17/2011 - WEEK 7 BIG EAST HONOR ROLL: Derek Wolfe, Sr., DT, Cincinnati: Had a career-high 11 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries in a 25-16 win against Louisville. - BIG EAST football

09/19/2011 - WEEK 3 BIG EAST HONOR ROLL: Derek Wolfe, Sr., DT, Cincinnati: Had two sacks and forced a fumble that was returned 54 yards for a touchdown in a 59-14 win against Akron. - BIG EAST football

08/15/2011 - Derek Wolfe doesn't use Twitter. He doesn't bother with Facebook. The only time you'll see him check in is at the dorms of Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center. That would leave him in the minority among his UC teammates and probably make him the last to know the latest pop culture news nugget. This all comes by design, of course. In a college football culture suffocated by pundits pumping praise and predictions of wealth into the heads of impressionable students, Wolfe chooses to stay blissfully ignorant. Never has Wolfe's philosophy been more important than this year. This year is different. Wolfe is a senior. He arrived knowing this was the last time for a first practice. This was the beginning of his final audition for the NFL and fulfilling a lifelong dream. One great season can be worth thousands - even millions - of dollars. There is no hiding that fact. Just don't expect Wolfe to pay attention to it. "If you do you are going to worry about everything you do," Wolfe said. "Same thing with the NFL, I don't think about the NFL. Even at practice, I don't think about the end of practice, I think about the next play." Much like blocking the Bearcats defensive line stalwart, wearing the professional blinders has become much more difficult than it used to be. "Yeah, because you have people trying to blow your head up," he said. - Cincinnati football

08/11/2011 - KEYS TO SUCCESS: The adage that football games are won or lost in the trenches was quite evident last season for the Bearcats. UC's pass protection needs to improve if senior QB Zach Collaros is going to operate efficiently in the spread offense. The defense, which managed 27 sacks to its opponents' 33, needs to generate a more consistent pass rush. Moving Walter Stewart from linebacker to defensive end should help. The defensive backfield also must improve, and it figures to with the return of senior DB Dominique Battle who missed the final eight games with a knee injury. There is some depth with Cameron Cheatham and Reuben Johnson returning. Derek Wolfe's experience is key for this group as is the stern leadership of J.K. Schaffer. - The Sports Xchange

07/11/2011 - 2011 OUTLAND TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, DT, has been selected one of 65 players named to Preseason Outland Trophy Watch List for the 2011 college football season. The Outland Trophy goes to the best interior lineman in college football, presented annually since 1946 and is the third oldest award in major college football. Wolfe started 12 games at defensive tackle, tallying 48 tackles, including 29 solo stops. He finished with 6.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, a pair of quarterback hurries, one pass break up and one pass defended. He had eight tackles and a sack in the season opener at Fresno State and finished with seven tackles against both West Virginia and Pittsburgh. - Cincinnati football

07/11/2011 - 2011 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, DT, has been selected one of 87 players named to Preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the 2011 college football season. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Wolfe started 12 games at defensive tackle, tallying 48 tackles, including 29 solo stops. He finished with 6.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, a pair of quarterback hurries, one pass break up and one pass defended. He had eight tackles and a sack in the season opener at Fresno State and finished with seven tackles against both West Virginia and Pittsburgh. - Cincinnati football

 
Latest News
04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Broncos' picks: Round 2/36 -- Derek Wolfe, DT, 6-2, 300, Cincinnati...The Broncos got little pass-rush punch from their defensive tackles last year, and they're counting on Wolfe to change that. Wolfe had 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for losses last year, and might start immediately. - The Sports Xchange

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