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Published on 03/30/2012 at Fri Mar 30 14:07.
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This is Part 2 of a staff tryout piece written by Geoff Bangs. Check part 1 here.


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.

Cincinnati Bearcats DT Derek Wolfe

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.

Tennessee DL Malik Jackson

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.


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.

  • bfree2bronc

    I reallk like Wolfe and Roy. I would like for Wolfe to add 5-8 lbs of muscle, and Roy add 10-12 lbs…

  • Anonymous

    My favorite quote from that Wolfe video “beating them mentally every play”

    I think he could definitely add weight if he wants to. If he were drafted by a team, like the Broncos, to play the interior of a 4-3 I would assume he would add some bulk. He still anchors very well….. against Big East offensive lines….

  • Anonymous

    Wolfe had 21.5 TFL this year (2 in their bowl game) instead of 19.5. My mistake.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more Derek Wolfe.

  • Monty


  • Anonymous


  • Hansen

    Wolfe sure carries 295 well.  Looks like he could easily add 5-10.

  • Tom9798

    Thanks Monty, great read . . . about weight . . .

    I remember Robert DeNiro, who won an academy award for ‘Raging Bull,’ (the story of Jake LaMotta) speaking about weight gain and loss.

    In the movie, he had to gain 56 lbs. to look like Mr. LaMotta in his older age. 

    Mr. DeNiro said he gained the 56 lbs in a few weeks. 

    When asked how, he answered, “I ate lobster, real mashed potatoes, butter and milk shakes every day.”

    As a side note, when the shooting of the movie was completed, Robert DeNiro lost all the weight in the same amount of time.

    Mind over matter . . . I know, ‘It’s my mind, and it don’t matter.”

    Point is . . . we could put fifteen pounds on every lineman before camp. 
    And they be eatin’ good!

  • rcsodak

    Beal had a very good college career. Why would a rookie be brought in to supplant him? Stay away from my sooners!!! Lol

  • Anonymous

    I love Beal too. Jackson is nasty though. He’s been a sleeper of mine since I saw his first snap on tape. Watch out for him wherever he ends up.

  • 5280

    wow this was a great article.  im very impressed. a lot of good info in this.  What intrigues me about mike martin is that he was a wrestler for most of his athletic career, and a good one. he is 301LBS on a 6’1 frame, but you really cant tell.  dude is ripped and there isnt an ounce of fat on him.  I grew up in a wrestling family, and if theres any one thing that can be said about them, they can work hard all day everyday and never tire out. and thats what i think is dynamite about martin. the skills that he doesnt excel in he’ll most likely learn and he’ll simply out work every other player in the league and tire out his opponents. Denver can really use the work ethic. he’ll ddefinitely push his other teammates. i will be very dissappointed if denver doesnt come out of the draft with at least 2 playmakers at DT.

  • Rich Wright

    Wolfe was a wrestler in high school a ovac champ and 5 th in the state of Ohio division 2 state tournament

  • Anonymous

    Nailed the Malik Jackson pick weeks out.