Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake rarely gets mentioned when people discuss the best defensive players to play in the National Football League over the last decade. That is not only puzzling, it’s also downright foolish.
Since 2009, his first year in the league, Wake has accumulated 87.5 sacks, which is more than every other player in the league over that stretch of time.
— Paul Sheehy (@ProStarSports) October 23, 2017
For the overwhelming majority of his football career Wake flown under the radar and has never really gotten the respect he deserves.
He originally entered the league in 2005 as an undrafted free agent linebacker (despite running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at his pro day) from Penn State. He had a very brief stint with the New York Giants during the 2005 offseason, but he was cut before even getting a chance to compete in training camp.
From there, Wake took his talents north of the border, signing a deal to play with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. He made the switch from linebacker to defensive end in the CFL, and a star was officially born.
In his two CFL seasons, Wake totaled 40 sacks and won the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award twice.
After his second CFL season, over half of the 32 teams in the NFL expressed an interest in signing Wake to a lucrative contract. He ended up signing on with the Dolphins, and he has been with the franchise ever since.
Wake is in the midst of his ninth NFL season, and the 2012 first-team All-Pro is showing no signs of slowing down. He has notched 6 sacks in six games, and he is one of the main reasons why the Dolphins are riding high with a 4-2 overall record. If he continues on his current pace, Wake, who has the second-most sacks by an undrafted player in NFL history (trailing only John Randle, who had 137.5 during his Hall of Fame career), could be in for a career year in 2017.
When it comes to his Hall of Fame credentials, Wake will likely accomplish enough during the NFL portion of his career to eventually get his gold jacket. With that being said, though, it’s worth pointing out that the prestigious shrine in Canton, Ohio is named the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the NFL Hall of Fame, so technically Wake’s CFL accomplishments should factor into his candidacy.
Based on what he has shown this season, Wake still has plenty of gas left in his tank to play well beyond 2017. If he does, the Hall of Fame selection committee will not be able to ignore him.
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