There is a reason it has taken 24 years for Garett Bolles to become one of the top tackle prospects in this draft class. He was kicked out of his father’s home, started abusing drugs and alcohol, was arrested for vandalizing an opposing teams field, and was in general on track for a life of self destruction. Luckily for Bolles, not all stories like these end like Requiem for a Dream. A neighbor brought him in and provided him with structure; forcing him to focus on schoolwork and even requiring that he get a job and pay a tithe. If Bolles slipped up again, he’d find himself on the streets.
Bolles buckled down, got his grades up, and even went on a mission for his church. By age 22 he enrolled in at Snow Junior College and as a JUCO transfer he found himself receiving scholarship offers from all across the nation, eventually deciding to attend Utah. Flash forward and he has a very good chance of hearing his name called on Day 1 of the draft.
Name: Garett Bolles
Draft Grade: Early Round 2
Positives: Mean streak and finishes with purpose. Looks for work. Moves well and excels in space at the second level. Very good overall athlete. Excellent, smooth feet. Shows minimal stiffness. Patient when mirroring pass rushers. Well balanced on short and vertical sets. Efficient kick slide with no hitch. Stays in position for inside counters. Athleticism and feet will allow him to excel in all types of run blocks. High effort and finishes even when play is away from him. Recognizes stunts; passes inside and is balanced for next threat.
Negatives: Older prospect, turns 25 in May. Can struggle to anchor vs. speed-to-power. Punch lacks consistency and power. Could add lower body strength. Not much experience from 3-point stance and is late coming out of that stance often. Allows hands inside his frame and loses leverage.
Outlook: Bolles fits a zone blocking scheme that will utilize his athleticism while hiding some of his deficiencies early in his career. He’s a projection that could take time to add core and lower body strength, but possesses a frame to add more bulk without sacrificing movement. His age shouldn’t scare teams away in need of protection and a boost in the run game. Pro Bowl potential that will flash on tape for his penchant for finishing, but requires a bigger projection than the top tier tackles in this class.