Denver Broncos 2012 NFL Draft Review

Derek Wolfe

The Broncos traded out of the first round and added more selections. In round two, Derek Wolfe, the fast twitch highly productive defensive tackle was picked. Denver filled a big need, but had other options such as Jerel Worthy, Kendall Reyes, and Devon Still all who were still on the board. Wolfe was the choice because of his consistent play and he is a natural 3-technique in new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s system. In the fifth round, another big defensive body, Malik Jackson, was selected. The Broncos addressed their NFL’s 31st-rated passing attack in free agency by signing Peyton Manning. Manning’s understudy, Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler, was the 57th player taken. With only 15 games under his belt, Osweiler is a developmental project but is very talented with a strong arm. Derek Wolfe is a high motor, great effort player who will compete with Kevin Vickerson at right defensive tackle. He will not only play tackle, but will get work at base defensive end and slide inside to be a nickel pass rusher. Relentless in his play to leverage the blocker, he then disengages quickly. He plays low with good knee bend and leverage. In 2011 he led the country with 21.5 tackles for loss as a tackle. Wolfe presses the pocket from the inside at tackle or outside at end. He is a good athlete with big strong hands. Brock Osweiler was drafted to become the heir to Peyton Manning’s position at quarterback when the all-time great retires. Osweiler will also serve as an insurance policy because of Manning’s multiple neck surgeries. An ascending talent, he has size, athletic ability, arm strength and accuracy. He is a rhythm type passer who has above average footwork, balance, and pocket vision. Under game and rush pressure he performs well. Ronnie Hillman is versatile and slippery with good balance. He plays best in space where he can use his lateral quickness and speed. In order to get much playing time he will need to elevate his route running ability as well as receiving and pass blocking skills. Omar Bolden has first round talent but will need to knock the rust off from missing the 2011 season with injury. He may not be fully recovered until the 2013 season. Philip Blake will compete with JD Walton at center. A Canadian junior college transfer, he competes and battles at the line of scrimmage. He is aggressive and strong but plays under control and works to finish his blocks. On short yardage plays he has good step and surge on the goalline. Blake can bend and play with leverage and is a better than average and efficient athlete. Malik Jackson has experience at both defensive end and tackle. His long arms and a quick first step help him control the point of attack. He can bend and flatten down inside. Instinctive with good screen awareness, Jackson is a developing size and speed prospect who has measurables and good athletic ability. Danny Trevathan is an undersized sideline to sideline tackler. Physical and tough in his play, he must be a special teams’ standout to make the 53-man roster. He will line up on the weakside and compete with fellow Kentucky alum, Wesley Woodyard. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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