Derek Wolfe shows he's a rookie to watch

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
8:00
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With all eyes were on Peyton Manning on Sunday night in Denver’s season-opening victory over Pittsburgh, a strong defensive performance was overlooked a bit.

Wolfe
Denver rookie defensive end Derek Wolfe, in particular, stood out. The 36th overall pick in the April draft was solid on a defense that looks much improved. Wolfe created a consistent pass rush and was active against the run. It would have been a promising start for a top-five pick.

The Broncos have been raving about Wolfe all summer because of his motor and versatility. They have to be thrilled after his first game.

It did not go unnoticed. Wolfe went from being unranked to being No. 5 on Matt Williamson’s Rookie Watch Insider. Williamson thinks Wolfe can be a star. After seeing him in person Sunday night, I have the same expectations for the Cincinnati product.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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