The last two times I have done a simulated seven-round mock draft I ended up taking Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles for the New York Giants at No. 23 overall. A report today from NJ Advance Media indicated that the Giants will bring Bolles to East Rutherford, N.J. for a pre-draft visit.
That, of course, does not mean the Giants will select the 6-foot-5, 297-pound left tackle if he is still on the board when the Giants pick in the first round. It does, however, indicate that the Giants have some level of interest in Bolles. NFL teams are allowed to host 30 players for official pre-draft visits, which cannot include any on-field work. The Giants wouldn’t use use of their visits on Bolles if he wasn’t a consideration for them.
Pat Traina reminded that the Giants showed interest in Bolles during the Scouting Combine. Bolles’ performance at the Combine was so impressive it was thought he may have pushed himself into consideration well before the Giants’ selection. That may still be the case.
Bolles, of course, is a player with an interesting back story who will be a 25-year-old rookie. He went through a troubled adolescence followed by an LDS mission. While he appears to have his life straightened out, any team considering using a first-round pick on him would want to get to know him as well as possible prior to the daft. Thus, the visit.
Here is some of what Bolles said to media at the Combine:
“When I’m on the field, I want to put people in the dirt,” Bolles said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “And that’s what I’m here for. As an offensive lineman, you want to be the nastiest prick that you can be. And whoever’s in front of me, I want to drive them and put them in the dirt. So I’m just going to try to be that every single day.”
“When I come off the field, I love my family. I just learned how to turn the switch to to go back to the new Garett,” Bolles said. “I don’t even know the old Garett, in case you guys were wondering. I don’t even know who that old Garett is. I know the new Garett. I know exactly what I want to do, and I’m just grateful to be here. It’s a great experience and I’m really looking forward to living my dreams someday and playing in the National Football League.”
Offensive line performance consultant Duke Manyweather said Bolles has “freaky athletic ability that jumps off the screen” and that he “probably the best finisher in the draft” among offensive linemen.
In his prospect profile of Bolles, Chris said that he “absolutely” fits with the Giants:
While his age and lack of experience are issues, Bolles looks like an immediate starter.
As a pass protector, he has the feet, hands, and technique to be competent right off the bat, and he is suited to both a zone running scheme or a power scheme as a pulling tackle.
He likely needs to add muscle at the NFL level, and that is one area where his age might be a factor. While he is able to use his feet and technique to gain both functional and play leverage to offset his (relatively) svelte build, there are plays where a quick bull rush can send him sprawling. On the other hand, when he makes first contact, the impact often has defenders’ heads snapping back.