Nick Bolton Draft Profile
Nick Bolton might be the most slept on linebacker in the draft. He’s one of those guys who won’t be drafted on day one, but he’ll be starting from day one. While he might not be the sexiest pick, he is going to be a really good NFL player. At Missouri, Bolton was the starting middle linebacker and while he might not have had the best stats, he did have a remarkable impact on that defense. One thing I love about Bolton is that he’s going to be one of those energy guys. In a similar fashion to Kwon Alexander and Devin White, you want your linebackers to play with passion and bring a lot of hype to your defense. I expect be a really good linebacker in the NFL.
No linebacker plays the run better than Nick Bolton in this draft. Bolton does a great job at bursting through the line and either getting tackles for loss or setting up his teammates to get tackles for loss. Bolton just has a way of blowing up plays that makes him a problem for opposing offenses. When a blocker gets his hands on him, Bolton knows how to disengage from the block and make a play. If an offense tries to disguise a play with pre-snap motion, Bolton doesn’t fall for it. He trusts his eyes, loves contact, and is a tackling machine. In man coverage, Bolton is persistent and hustles. That hustle translates into range, he can make tackles all over the field and it’s also a nod to his athleticism. While Bolton wasn’t a guy who filled up the stat sheet with sacks, he consistently applied pressure. Bolton is a publishing tackler that will most likely get drafted sometime on day two.
Even though Bolton did a great job at defending the run, he missed a good amount of tackles. Despite being capable of monster hits, Bolton finds himself attempting too many arm tackles. The lack of sacks could concern teams to a degree, but it shouldn’t affect him too much. While Bolton is flying around the field, he also ends up on the ground a lot. This is not due to being pancaked or anything, but it’s because he leaves his feet trying to make tackles. Standing at just 5’11, Bolton is a tad bit undersized, however; I still think he’s going to be a stud in the NFL.
An undersized linebacker that is a tackling machine… he reminds me a lot of Denzel Perryman in the aspect that they both love contact, are smart players, and leaders on the field. The Chargers just lost Perryman in free agency so Bolton could be a potential second round replacement. Bolton fits the Dan Campbell linebacker mold and he’d be used similar to Demario Davis in Detroit. The Packers get a lot of heat at their linebacker position and I think Green Bay would be a perfect destination for Bolton on day two. The Eagles have a ton of picks in the draft and Bolton would look sweet in the Eagles uniforms. I’m a lot higher on Bolton than the national media, and he is one of my day two players in the draft.
Eyes + IQ 8.25/10
Strength + Hands 6.5/8
Pass Rush 5/7
Man Coverage 4.25/5
Zone Coverage 3/5
Final Rating: 79
Pro Comparison: Denzel Perryman
Team Fits: Eagles, Chargers, Lions, Packers
Draft Ranking: Early Second Round Pick
Draft Projection: Late Second - Early Third