Utah T Garett Bolles
6-5, 297 lb.
Attended Westlake (UT) HS and played defensive tackle Worked for two years out of HS, then went on LDS Church mission to Colorado Springs, CO Four years after HS, he landed at Snow College, 2 year JUCO moved to offensive tackle
24 years old, married, had first child in January
First Team All-Pac 12 in 2016 - his only season at Utah Started all 13 games at left tackle NJCAA First team All-American (2015) No. 1 overall JUCO prospect in the nation (Scout.com) No. 3 overall JUCO prospect in the nation (Rivals.com)
2015 Western States Football League Offensive Player of the Year
Hand: 9 3/8"
40-yd dash: 4.95 seconds
Vertical Jump: 28"
Broad Jump: 9-7
3-cone drill: 7.29 seconds
Short Shuttle: 4.55 seconds
Bolles is an amazing story in the vein of the Blind Side's Michael Oher, who appropriately enough became someone Bolles idolized. As a youngster, Bolles struggled with behavior issues that eventually led to his being suspended or kicked out of a number of schools and his own home. He eventually ended up on the street with nowhere to turn. Consequently, his former lacrosse coach took him in and it helped turned Bolles' life around.
So, now you get the Michael Oher/Blind Side reference, right?
Oher has started 110 games in the NFL and was a first round pick of the Baltimore Ravens. He accomplished that after a four year career at Ole Miss as a tackle. Bolles could easily be a first round pick but he played just one year at Utah, after being a coveted JUCO prospect at Snow College in Utah.
At the Combine, Bolles was open and honest about his past and didn't shy away from that part of his life. He noted that it shaped him as an adult and his LDS mission was a crucial part of the overall growing up process as well. He handled the situation well, but it was clear, he didn't really want to spend a ton of time talking about himself or anything for that matter. He said at one point, he just wanted to play ball because he loved getting physical on the field.
Done. Sign me up.
The former high school defensive tackle and lacrosse star made the eventual transition over to the offensive side of the ball. His feet and change of direction skills were clearly honed in lacrosse but that nasty defensive tackle demeanor is something that he's harnessed for good on the offensive side of the ball.
Sure, he's 24-years old, but considering what he's withstood in his life to this point, his arrow will consistently point up. If it's true that adversity makes a man (or woman) stronger, Bolles should be the Man of Steel, without the cape of course. I mean, you can't play offensive tackle with a cape, right?
"I was a lost kid. I was confused, angry, like 'what am I doing in here?'. This isn't who I really am"
--Bolles on a short stint in jail
"Football is the greatest game that anyone's created on this earth. It's a game where you can literally beat somebody up and get away with it."
--Bolles on football
"He's also mean on the field, which you love. I'm projecting him to get stronger once he locks into an NFL strength and conditioning program. He's underdeveloped right now. What you see isn't what you are going to ultimately get, in my opinion."
--NFC West area scout on Bolles
What to like
--Defensive, physical mentality at the tackle position
--Quick feet, ability to slide upfield v. speed rushers
--Can scoop 3-technique or 2-technique, even, working inside
--Will never quit on a block, relentless to the whistle
--Quick to the second level on zone or inside plays
--If he's square on you, forget it; it's going to be tough to beat him
--Excellent speed when he pulls, sometimes runs up back of guard on counter
--Strong hands, overall upper body strength is impressive
What needs some work
--Loses to bull rushers more than I'd like
--Needs to anchor against bull rushers MUCH better
--Better head/hands placement on a consistent basis
--Falls off blocks that he should finish at times
--Overextends and widens base too far when he senses bull rush coming
--Susceptible to shock and shed or inside counter if rusher doesn't bull
--Hardly, if ever, been in three point stance
--Only played tackle for a short time (2-3 years)
Bolles should be one of the top two linemen taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. Look, he's not the perfect specimen at left tackle. He needs to put on some weight and learn how to better counter powerful edge players with effective bull rushes. Furthermore, he must learn the intricacies of playing the position after only playing it for a couple of years and one year at FBS level.
However, it's not often that an athlete of his caliber, one with a football mean streak like his, comes around in a draft at his position. Sure, there are questions. Can he transition to the right side? Can he put his hand in the dirt and come out of a three point stance comfortably? I'd bet money on it happening but the next word is the one that can scare NFL scouts, coaches and GMs.
Some teams don't have the patience for "eventually" and need a guy to step in at either tackle spot yesterday. Can an OL coach mold Bolles' clay, if you will, and make him into a poor man's Joe Staley, Bolles' workout partner this offseason, in short order? Luckily, said OL coach has plenty to work with; Bolles' ceiling is higher than any lineman in this class by a long shot.
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