I hope that title is so bad that it lives up to my usual standards.
The Eagles added Earl Wolff in the 5th round. Good pick. He has the potential to be a starter in the NFL. The thing that jumps out at you when you watch Wolff is his explosion. He had a 38-inch vertical at the Combine and you see that on the field. When he sees a target and starts upfield, Wolff flies for the first few steps. He explodes. Not all guys have that.
Wolff ran 4.44. I don’t think you see that speed on tape. He’s fast for a Safety, but 4.44 is CB speed. I don’t see it.
Safety is a position where brains and brawn can be far more important than speed. Wolff sees the field pretty well. He doesn’t seem to get consistently burned by fakes. He mostly takes good angles when pursuing the ball. There are some plays when he’s out of position. As far as tackling, Wolff’s best quality is that he’s a wrap-up tackler. He isn’t a guy who goes the for the highlight hits. Wolff wants to get in close and secure his target, then put the guy on the ground. He does miss some tackles. Sometimes due to a sloppy angle, sometimes due to sloppy form.
I don’t see him as an impact hitter. He doesn’t like to sell out for the highlight plays. That’s okay. Wolff isn’t a finesse player that avoids contact. He can hit. He just tends to be more of a tackler than a hitter. Coaches will tell you that they prefer players who do that. Old school football.
I don’t have a good feel for Wolff’s ball skills. He finished his career with 6 INTs and 14 PBUs. I saw one pick. Showed good hands, but nothing special. I’ll go back and re-watch the Combine to get a better feel for his hands.
Wolff has FS skills, but he can play in the box. He’s not shy about contact or playing in traffic. He is 5-11 and 209. That is tweener size. Big enough for SS, but still athletic enough for FS. Wolff was highly productive in terms of tackles. He led NC State in tackles in 2012 and was second in 2011. He finished his career with 361 stops (211 solo). He did have 12 career TFLs. The stat that jumped out at me was 7 career FFs. That shows the ability to separate the ball from the runner/receiver. He only had 1 in 2012, but 3 each in 2011 and 2010.
Chip Kelly said that DBs coach Jon Lovett did go put Wolff through an individual workout. Kelly spoke to some coaches on the NC State staff, including Dana Bible. They all spoke very highly of Wolff. He started the last 3 full seasons of his career and even 4 games as a Redshirt Freshman. He’s got a ton of experience. Wolff graduated in December and seems to be a high character guy.
Good pick. Wolff will fight for a backup Safety spot this year and could develop into a starter down the road. He should be a good STs player.