NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Earl Wolff, S NC State All Green Bay Packers All the Time
NC State safety Earl Wolff
NC State safety Earl Wolff

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: S Earl Wolff

Player Information:

Earl Wolff, S North Carolina St.
5-11, 209 pounds
Hometown: Raeford, N.C.


NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.40
20-yard shuttle: 4.07
Broad jump: 11′ 2″
Vertical jump: 39″

News and Notes:

Three-year starter at North Carolina State … Former head coach Tom O’Brien once called Wolff “the heart of the defense” … Graduated in three-and-a-half years with a degree in sports management … Led the team in tackles as a senior, finishing with 119 on the year … Finished second on the team in tackles with 113 as a junior … Finished third on the team with 91 tackles as a sophomore … Had seven forced fumbles during his college career … Redshirted as a true freshman in 2008 before starting four games as a redshirt freshman in 2009 … Was a high school running back at Hoke County High School, also a standout track athlete

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • “Possesses lean, muscular frame with long arms. Displays good play recognition, and nice initial straight-ahead burst. Takes sound angles to the outside against the run, and really uses his length well to close space and make the tackle. Wraps up nicely, and routinely approaches his target low. Exhibits a fluid backpedal and flips the hips with good timing in transition.”
  • “Solidly built defender able to make plays against the run and pass. Physical tackler coming downhill to attack ballcarriers, not afraid to bring intensity to the stop. Diagnoses and attacks. Breaks down quickly and wraps up the legs of receivers effectively to bring them down quickly after the catch. Uses relentless hustle to reach plays, even if on the opposite sideline. Flashes quickness to move from two-deep to a single-high look after the snap, as well as pick up vertical routes and stay with receivers in deep coverage.”


Video Analysis:

  • Natural backpedal with elite ability to turn-and-run.
  • Physical tackler who wraps up the ball carrier.
  • Flashes above-average closing speed when tracking the ball.
  • Not afraid of sticking his head in there against bigger linemen in the run game.
  • Definitely plays the game with a strong safety’s mentality.
  • Quick to the ball but sometimes his aggressive nature leads him to overpursue.
  • NC State’s front seven was weak. The secondary was forced to make too many tackles.
  • Keeps his hips low and breaks down the ball carrier.

If drafted by the Packers:

Like most mid-round prospects, there’s a wide range of opinions on Wolff. Some see him as a Day 2 guy, while other have him falling to the sixth round.

In my opinion, he and Florida’s Josh Evans are criminally underrated in regards to this year’s crop of safeties. Some players may have higher “ceilings” but Wolff is what he is – a good football player. There aren’t many weaknesses to his game, and he certainly had an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Packers could consider Wolff when they’re on the clock at the end of the third round, certainly if he’s still available in the fourth round. His 4.40 speed and 11’2″ broad jump simply cannot be coached. He has range and is physical enough to be effective in run support. Consider me a believer in Earl Wolff.


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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


12 thoughts on “NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Earl Wolff, S NC State

  1. the Packers need to be getting BIGGER not SMALLER.

    5’11” 209

    that’s an injury waiting to happen.

      1. Was thinking the exact same thing. Wolff sounds and looks like a good mid round Safety if we don’t get a chance at Vacarro, Reid in the 1st or Cyprien, Thomas in the 2nd. I agree it seems both Wolff and Evans are flying a little under the radar and could develop into starters in a year or 2.

    1. “that’s an injury waiting to happen.”

      Not necessarily, given that opponents (aside from the Vikes) feel like they need to play a more open game to keep up with the Packers. Packers D doesn’t play base that much, and even when it does, doesn’t really employ a true, SS.

    2. “the Packers need to be getting BIGGER not SMALLER.”

      I think what you want to say is that the Packers need to be getting “meaner”. Size is no guarantee of physicality or demeanor. I want smart, sound football players who know how to play physical.

      If this guy were 6’1″ and 210, I don’t think anyone would bat an eye. If anything, 5’11” should make him more sturdy.

  2. Hmm, definitely intriguing! Something that I think a lot of people forget when considering the Packer’s need at safety is that McMillian didn’t play a snap in the 49ers game. I’m not saying that you’re overtly blaming all our safeties for the thrashing on the ground we received, but I think it’s unfair to blame McMillian for that.

    1. I like the idea of Wolff stepping in and competing with Jennings and McMillian. I’m more optimistic about McMillian than I am with Jennings just from a physical tools standpoint, but I think Wolff is the most complete of the three of them.

      He’d be a great fourth-round pick, in my opinion. Possibly as high as the third.

      1. Fourth seems about right. Possibly 3rd depending on what we do in rds 1 and 2. Might be a bit of a reach in 3rd. I like his well rounded game as well. Whereas Jennings and McMillan have definite shortcomings, Wolff is solid in all phases.

  3. I like him. 3rd or later. We need a stud d-lineman and a steal WR just in front of this pick.

  4. Wolff and Branon williams are the 2 players in the entire draft that I really want the Packers to have. I think they’re both underrated and could be immediate starters. Wiliamns in the 2nd, Wolff in the 3rd.

  5. Everything I’ve read on this guy screams “Athetic, smart, sound football player”. Why he’s not rated higher, I don’t know. Very intriguing prospect.

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