Derek Wolfe, DE/DT, Cincinnati
Height: 6-5. Weight: 302.
Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
Projected Round (2012): 2-3.
12/16/11: Wolfe had an excellent senior season with 64 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and 9.5 sacks. At the point of attack, he overwhelms offensive linemen with his strength and speed. Wolfe closes on the quarterback quickly and plays the run extremely well. He has a nice repertoire of pass rushing moves and uses a strong rip move. Entering the NFL, Wolfe has very good technique with a relentless motor. He could be an ideal 3-4 defensive end. Don't be surprised to see him move up during the draft process.
8/21/11: Derek Wolfe has had two quality seasons for Cincinnati. In 2009, he recorded 41 tackles with eight tackles for a loss and five sacks. Last year, he had 48 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. If he can stay consistent as a senior, it would ensure his status as a mid-round pick. If Wolfe has a big senior season with his scheme flexibility to play either a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense, his could raise his stock.
12/30/11 - 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