Garett Bolles | OT, Utah
Weight: 300 pounds
Late 1st Round — Early 2nd Round
Footwork: Bolles boasts excellent footwork that rivals that of Ryan Ramcyzk — it’s as if he is floating when he shuffles his feet in pass protection. In the below clip, watch how quickly and smoothly Bolles shuffles his feet while maintaining a proper stance.
This kind of footwork is also useful for Bolles as a run blocker, where he even excels as a puller. There aren’t a lot of men Bolles’ size that can move with such grace, and that alone gives him a high ceiling as an NFL offensive tackle.
Balance: Each of the traits analyzed here is critical to an offensive lineman’s success in the NFL; there’s no doubt about that. But balance might be the most important because it enables everything else to work. Without balance, an offensive lineman is completely disabled; just ask T.J. Clemmings.
Bolles does an excellent job of maintaining healthy posture in pass protection, which helps him stonewall opposing rushers with ease and regularity.
In the below two examples, the defensive end attempts a bull rush and gets get a shot at Bolles off the snap. Bolles maintains his balance, takes the punch and finishes the block with two well-timed punches.
Balance is necessary for any position in the NFL, but it might be the single most important trait for a team’s left tackle. To have exquisite balance is a rare gift, and Bolles’s balance is as good as it gets in this class.
Mean Streak: There’s nothing better than an offensive lineman with a little bit of a mean streak. When you get a group of players that not only wants to block their opponent but bury them under the turf, it usually makes for a better, more cohesive unit.
Bolles is one of those linemen. He won’t stop blocking a player until he hears the whistle, even if he has taken that player for a ride on the Bolles merry-go-round.
Strength: Bolles certainly has the athleticism and attitude to play at a high level in the NFL. However, his weaknesses expose themselves against stronger players, as he often fails to get a good push in the ground game against more physical players. It’s the main knock on Bolles’ game, and it’s keeping him from entering the discussion as a top offensive tackle in this draft class.
Inexperience: Like Ramczyk, Bolles also has only one year of FBS football experience under his belt. He spent his single season at Utah in a spread offense, where his responsibilities weren’t extremely demanding in comparison to what he will be asked to do at the NFL level. Thus, his transition to the professional level, where five and seven-step drops are a part of the norm, could come with some stumbles out of the gate.
Garett Bolles is another terrific offensive lineman candidate for the Minnesota Vikings to target in the second round; it’s possible he slides enough for that pick to become a reality. In this event, Minnesota should have some options available at left tackle so that Bolles isn’t forced into a starting role right away.
Bolles’ ceiling is among the highest in the class for offensive tackles. How soon he can reach that potential depends on how much stronger he can get and how quickly he can develop an understanding for the more complicated NFL blocking schemes. If the Vikings are willing to endure that process, Bolles is an excellent candidate for their second-round selection.