The Big Bad Ohio Wolf(e)
As I share with you my 3rd player profile, I’d like to point out that this man is a native Ohioan, like myself. So, expect there to be a bit of bias. Now, let’s get to the good stuff!
Wolfe grew up near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border in the small town of Negley. He was the first NFL player to come out of Mahoning County and Beaver Local High School. From 2008-2011 he attended the University of Cincinnati. He compiled 162 total tackles, 37 tackles for a loss and 19.5 sacks. This evolving defensive juggernaut ultimately became one of the two Big East Defenders of the year and made the All-Big East first team in his senior season, while at Cincinnati. Standing at 6’5” and coming in at 295lbs, Wolfe is a load. His 33 reps of 225lbs, during the NFL combine, showed off his immense upper body strength (among other things), and caught the eye of the Denver Broncos brass.
Combine Numbers: 5.01 40-yard dash/331/2 inch vertical/9’0” broad jump
The NFL Proving Grounds
Wolfe was selected in 2012, by the Denver Broncos, with the 36th pick in the second round of the NFL draft. That year, in a Broncos pre-season game against the Bears, Wolfe tore up the Bears O- Line for 2 sacks and 3 tackles. I adore this upcoming stat: Wolfe’s first regular season game, against the “Shittsburg Squeelers” (Pittsburgh Steelers btw, Go Browns!), he recorded 3 tackles and a sack for a 9-yard loss. All tallied, he finished his rookie season third on the team in sacks with 6 and also recorded 40 tackles with 2 passes defended.
In his second year, Wolfe suffered a significant injury in a pre-season game against the Seahawks. The injury was to his spinal cord and he was subsequently carted off the field. This, paired with a bout of food poisoning, put a damper on his sophomore season. After losing 20lbs. and suffering a seizure on a bus ride home from a Chiefs matchup, (that was brought on by the spinal cord injury) the team put Wolfe on the I.R.
Return of the Wolf(e)
Not only was Wolfe forced to pause his play due to injury, but he also served a four game suspension for P.E.D.’s. However, upong his return, The Wolf(e) blasted into his 2015 campaign with a vengeance! He became a run stuffer and recorded 5.5 sacks as a rotational defensive end. In honor of his production and performance, in the Week 8 win against the then undefeated Packers, Wolfe was named AFC defensive player of the week. As a result, Wolfe went on to garner a 4-year contract extension in 2016 and went on to win Super Bowl 50, where he recorded 5 tackles and .5 sacks.
Coming back from any back injury is a demonstration of toughness and conditioning (which I know all too well), but Wolfe came back and got better. Looking ahead, with opposing offensive lines worried about the Super Bowl MVP Von Miller on one side, Wolfe should get one on one attention for the foreseeable future. The 2016 season is a primetime for a major breakout from the Big Bad Wolf(e), since Malik Jackson has gone on to the Jags and Demarcus Ware is getting up there in age. I’m thinking 10-12 sacks and 50+ tackles are not out of the question for this up-coming fantasy season. If you know me by now or have read one of my previous articles, you know I love players with passion, grit and determination. Wolfe possesses all of these traits so draft him with confidence as a production DE. Good luck in your IDP drafts!!
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