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NFL Draft 2017 Scouting Report: OT Garett Bolles, Utah

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NFL Draft 2017 Scouting Report: OT Garett Bolles, Utah

*OT grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day or private workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

 

For my money, the two best offensive linemen I have seen to this point, after looking at all the top prospects for 2017, are Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Utah’s Garett Bolles. There are arguments to be made for both guys. There are some red flag items off the field to worry about too. Bolles has the odder background, but he’s also the better athlete. Robinson has great tape and manhandled Myles Garrett. It will be an argument about whether you like your favorite ice cream served in a cone or a cup/bowl. Both are still your favorite ice cream that you’ll happily consume. You should like both these guys as football prospects. Which one is better is up to personal taste.

When discussing Bolles, you have to talk background first…and then discuss his play. You’re going to see his story discussed, referenced a thousand times during draft week. The short version…

Troubled kid. Kicked out of five different high schools. Had issues with cutting class, vandalism, and drugs. Went to jail, briefly. Kicked out of his house by his dad. A Mormon family took him in and got his life turned around. He became a model citizen and student. He’s participated in mission works with the church, which he gives a lot a credit to for turning his life around. He’s now married with a kid. The story has a happy ending, seemingly.

Bolles is special on the field. By far the most athletic OT prospect in 2017. He also plays with that chip, a ‘bully’ mentality from his hardscrabble life. He punishes people when he pulls on a play and lead-blocks. Between his speed and aggression…he’s nasty. He doesn’t let up either. He’s constantly looking to pop someone. Bolles is so quick pulling to block that it’s amazing to watch his feet/movement for his size. He has terrific feet in a backpedal and is wonderful mirroring his defender. He’s a terrific OL prospect.

The best evidence of how good a blocker Bolles is, is found in his 2016 tape versus UCLA. More specifically, his matchup with UCLA’s top DE/OLB pass-rush prospect, Takk McKinley. That game tape is perfect. McKinley is a really good pass-rusher, and he started the game rushing mostly from the right side matched up against the left tackle Garett Bolles. McKinley was utterly destroyed by Bolles. It was a breeze, a masterful performance by Bolles. McKinley was constantly frustrated, and then you started seeing him line up on the left side to battle Utah’s right tackle…and then McKinley went off. Utah’s right tackle was embarrassed by McKinley. Occasionally, McKinley would drift back over to face Bolles…and was shut down yet again.

The negative I have on Bolles is that he is not fully at his peak physically entering the NFL Draft. He’s 6′5″/297…that’s thin for an OT prospect. I don’t see a ton of definition in his arms. He skipped the bench press at the NFL Combine…and at his Pro Day. He’s claiming a strained pectoral. I think the bench press result would have hurt his draft stock. He was smart to dodge it.

On one hand, I don’t like that Bolles hasn’t worked on his body ahead of the NFL Draft/in his senior season. On the other hand, I know it’s the most fixable thing at the next level. If Bolles adds five or so pounds of solid/pure muscle, he’s going to be the best O-Linemen from this draft and a future Pro Bowl player.

 

Garett Bolles, through the lens of our OT Scouting Algorithm

— Was the second-fastest OL prospect at the NFL Combine in the 40-yard dash with a 4.95 time (Aviante Collins ran a 4.81).

— Ran the second-fastest 10-yard split among any OL prospect at the NFL Combine (1.71)

— Had the best broad jump among the OL prospects at the NFL Combine (9′7″)

— Ran the fastest three-cone time among the OL prospects at the NFL Combine (7.29).

 

NFL Combine data…

6′5.0″/297, 34.0″ arms, 9.4″ hands

4.95 40-time, 1.71 10-yard, 4.55 shuttle, 7.29 three-cone

DNP bench press, 28.0″ vertical, 9′7″ broad jump

 

 

The NFL OT Garett Bolles most compares to statistically in college, within our system:

Bolles compares favorably with many OL prospects we touted/projected much higher than most analysts…and those projections were proved more correct than not.

I’d also note, if Bolles had a better build/a nice bench press – he might be one of the highest-rated OT prospects we would have seen in our system. His size/strength questions hold him back from real greatness in grading. If he takes care of that at the next level – he’s going to be a star.

 

OT scoreLastFirstDraft YrCollegeHeightWeightPerfm, Tech MetricsSpeed, Agility MetricsPower, Strength Metric
9.667BollesGarettUtah201777.02978.1411.942.28
8.372BitonioJoelNevada201476.23027.389.842.44
7.628BarbreAllenMO Southern200776.03008.2212.447.07
8.517ThuneyJoeNC State201676.53045.6910.927.13
9.285Duvernay-TardifLaurentMcGill (CN)201477.02988.6510.1410.03
12.079JohnsonLaneOklahoma201378.230310.3813.7812.28
7.527BaldwinDarrylOhio State201577.53057.368.907.65
6.984MondekNickPurdue201277.63046.1713.148.46

 

 

*A score of 8.00+ is where we see a stronger correlation of OTs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an NFL elite OT.

All of the OT ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Overall OT score = A combination of several measures, which includes performance based on strength of opponents faced, physical measurement metrics, injury probabilities…all rated historically against the future great OTs in our database.

“Power-Strength” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better straight-ahead power blockers.

“Agility-Finesse” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to fit a blocking scheme where lateral movement/pulling and heavy pass-blocking skills are required.

“Performance Blocking Profile” = A combination of all the physical measurable profiles, arm length, hand size, on-field performance grades, etc. An attempt to profile the OTs skill level beyond only the physical.

 

 

2017 NFL Draft outlook…

Some have Bolles projected as the top OT, but most have him #2–3 because you have to put the ‘Wisconsin’ and ‘Alabama’ guys ahead of him…if you have no idea how to scout offensive linemen, you go with ‘school’ to help you rank. I imagine the NFL will see him much higher than analysts will. Bolles will go top 15 overall in a weak class of OL prospects in 2017. Possibly top 10.

NFL Outlook: Upgrades his body…and might become one of the best OLs in our generation. That’s quite a potential.

 

rcf@collegefootballmetrics.com

 

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