Posted Fri Mar 30th by Monty
This is Part 2 of a staff tryout piece written by Geoff Bangs. Check part 1 here.
PICK NUMBER 88
Round 3 is where we can find some real quality value in this deep DT class. Here I introduce you to one of my favorite prospects this year. Derek Wolfe (6-5 295 lbs.) The Cincinnati Bearcat VASTLY improved in his senior season. Here is an interview where he speaks about his progress at the combine.
I love it. This is everything and more you want to hear from a first round selection, let alone, someone being slept on as hard as him.
The fellow First Team All Big East selection ( along with Reyes) had 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks as a senior. Ran a 4.99 40 and benched 225 33 times. The 40 time proves he can add on bulk if need be. I have watched two of his games in the last two days ( vs Uconn, vs Vandy,) and he makes a living in the backfield. He dominates and takes over games, flat-out. He plays with great leverage, uses his hands well, runs to the ball, absolutely everything you want to see. He is seen as a late fourth rounder by most because of concerns of being able to anchor against the run but if you watch the tape there is simply nothing to be worried about. Wolfe is going to continue to get better and will push everyone around him at his position. He is the great attitude, high quality of character type player the Broncos look for and his production will justify this pick by the 8th game of his rookie season.
Another DT that could be of assistance to Denver at #88 is Mike Martin (6’1, 306 lbs.) of Michigan. Martin is a pest of a bowling ball in the line of scrimmage. He has tremendous strength and a squat stature he uses to pound away on gaps on the interior of the line. Martin is always slowly but surely grinding his way forward. His style is relentless and his strength is unquestioned. He can take on double teams as well as shoot gaps to pressure the qb but isn’t a stud at either. He excels at bull rushes and, in general, chiseling away at a lineman until they take a play to breathe and he capitalizes.
Alameda Ta’amu (6’3, 338 lbs.) the Washington Huskie could also still be available here. Ta’amu is a powerful NT and was high on a lot of draft boards early in the season because he was dominating weaker competition but was then later exposed through Pac-12 play. He needs to put forth a more fullhearted effort. He seems to have all the right tools.
PICK NUMBERS 108, 120, & 137
It is crucial for the Broncos to select one of the previously mentioned DT’s but they can also look to find quality depth in rounds 4 and 5.
The first prospect to look at here is Dajohn Harris (6-3, 305 lbs.) out of USC. The biggest attraction to Harris the Broncos would have is to his pass rushing ability. Harris has a fast first step and can burst into the backfield. He has speed to get around blockers to the QB but his strength is a big question mark at the next level. There are times on his tape where he is completely blown off the ball in run defense.
I really like Malik Jackson (6-5, 285 lbs) from Tennessee as a consideration for the Broncos here. A USC transfer and former teamate of Harris’. Jackson is listed as a DE and could help Denver there as well behind Ayers as an upgrade over unproven Jeremy Beal. The Volunteer played all over the line using his long arms, lean body and quick upfield burst to disrupt SEC backfields. He is particuarly enticing as a third down pass rusher from the 3-tech position. He is already versatile and could add weight if asked to move inside.
U of Miami’s Marcus Forston (6’1, 301 lbs.) can be found ranked around here for his athleticism. Forston seems to be a head case and never should have came out of school after being injured for most of this season. Clearly he is in it for the money. He is a project but could contribute in the future.
Nevada’s Brett Roy (6’5, 285 lbs.) Is a tough nosed player who needs to add some weight. He seems most viable as a DE in a 3-4 but he has produced very well in interior of a 4-3 in college. He could certainly rush the passer from the inside.
PICK NUMBER 188
Here we could take flyers on some prospects with potential. Florida Gator Jaye Howard is a very agile, fast interior lineman who made some splash plays for Will Muschamp down in the swamp. Recruited by Urban Myer of course, Howard is a dynamic athlete that has potential to be an inside presence as a pass rusher but is sloppy and undisciplined. He often ends up on the ground or taking his eyes off the play and just rocketing upfield blindly and ends up out of the play.
Tydreke Powell of UNC showed tremendous upside but not much dedication or drive to get better. Ended up being a very disappointing end to his college career. He could easily go undrafted after being a mid day prospect entering this season.
Travian Roberston of South Carolina could also be considered here. He at times showed a dangerous skill set for an inside pass rusher but would be worthless against the run on the NFL level.
That concludes this look into the DT’s of the 2012 NFL Draft class. Obviously not every single prospect was touched on. If you have a favorite d-lineman you would like to see the Broncos draft throw his name out there. Games are won and lost in the trenches and as Broncos fans it’s about time we had the privelage of watching some giant, orange-clad mashers wreaking havoc upon the interior of opposing offenses. With our improved secondary and deadly outside pass rush adding, an interior force is the next step to ascending into the top ranks of defensive powers in the NFL.
I hope to bring you more in depth looks at potential Denver Broncos draft picks, continuing next time, on the offensive side of the ball, with running backs.