The Packers latest tight end roster addition has intriguing testing numbers but has not been able to crack an NFL lineup in two years. Eli Wolf ran an impressive hand timed 4.43 forty yard dash in 2020. For a kid who was almost 6’5” and weighed 245 lbs., that time would have impressed scouts. The problem was not one scout was there to witness and confirm the time. His big day was a Covid casualty. Scouts had to watch a video of the workout. Wolf also excelled at other tests (35 inch vertical jump/10’ broad jump/23 bench presses/4.06 shuttle/6.7 short shuttle) Wolf had just finished a graduate year at Georgia in 2019 putting up modest receiving numbers. Thirteen catches for 195 yards. In his three years at Tennessee prior to his transfer to Georgia, he totaled 8 catches. So the 2020 NFL drafted tight end with the fastest 40 times had a combined college stat line of 21 pass receptions.
Wolf went undrafted. In two years he could not find the playing field for the Ravens or the Colts. The Colts released Wolf after having him on their practice squad since October of 2021.
The Packers took an inexperienced tight end prospect in Robert Tonyan and turned him into a weapon. But Tonyan did not have much tight end experience, which explained his two year training process. Wolf has six years of college and pro tight end experience and has had two teams pass on his size/speed combination. Wolf is three years younger than Tonyan but is the last member in a six player tight end room. While that would qualify as a crowded room on any NFL team, Tonyan is recovering from a knee injury, Deguara has had injuries and mental errors and Marcedes Lewis is old enough to date my mother. If Wolf can block NFL lineman and comes equipped with an NFL pair of hands he will be welcomed with open arms.
Wolf may be a diamond in the rough, or he may be proof that big strong fast college players don’t always pan out on NFL gridirons.