As the dust settled after the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, former Cincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe remained at home after not receiving a call from an NFL head coach welcoming him to the team.
While that might be the norm for many NFL prospects, it is anything but that for Wolfe.
For one, Wolfe’s home isn’t that of the typical family. He has lived with a foster family since his freshman year of high school after he had a falling out with his stepfather, who was divorced from Wolfe’s mother. Wolfe doesn’t know his real father.
But more noteworthy for the Broncos is that Wolfe was still on the board, something that peeved the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman and something that he will use as motivation on the field.
“I was a little, I can say, upset,” Wolfe said on a conference call after his pick. “I feel a little selfish for getting upset last night because I didn’t get taken. I just take it as a chip on my shoulder. I know I can make a difference, and I’m ready for the opportunity.”
It’s an opportunity that Wolfe never saw coming.
“When you talk about contact (from Denver before the draft), there wasn’t a lot of contact there like there was from the other teams,” Wolfe said. “It was kind of put under wraps; there was kind of a shock when they took me. I’m pretty excited.”
Wolfe joins a defense that includes Pro Bowlers such as cornerback Champ Bailey, fellow defensive lineman Elvis Dumervil and linebacker Von Miller.
“It’s a huge privilege,” Wolfe said. “I couldn’t ask for better spot to be going into than the best defense in the NFL right now. Hopefully, I can just learn from those guys, and hopefully, contribute to getting the quarterback down.”
As the first Broncos pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wolfe hopes he can make an immediate impact on the team.
“I’m not the type of guy to sit around and wait,” Wolfe said. “I want to get ready right away.”