By Kevin McGuire
Name: Garett Bolles
Weight: 300 lb
Position: Offensive Tackle
Draft Pick: 1st Round, 20th Pick
The value of a good offensive line cannot be taken for granted in the NFL. That is why the Denver Broncos should feel good about the outlook with rookie offensive tackle Garett Bolles finding his way into the mix this summer leading up to the fall. Bolles is already making a case to be considered for a starting job in Denver, so everything appears to be going according to plan for the Broncos in a year that will see some changes on the offensive line.
Bolles is coming off a very successful 2016 season with the Utah Utes of the Pac-12, and he continues to grow from that experience with the work already completed in mini-camps for the Broncos. A First-Team All-Pac-12 player last year for the Utes, Bolles has proven he is a capable blocker at a key position.
Bolles is a bit older than your typical rookie. The 25-year-old previously served a two-year mission before attending Snow College and played two seasons of football. He then transferred to Utah for his final year of college football before turning pro. Bolles declared early, capitalizing on his successful season at Utah and opting not to risk playing another year before getting to the NFL. He has learned a lot in that time out of high school, and the maturity that comes from having served a two-year mission gives Bolles more of a sense of responsibility and preparation for what is asked of him.
His work ethic was recognized quickly by NFL Scouts, resulting in an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine as one of the top offensive tackles on the big board. And clearly, the Broncos walked away impressed with what he could do. Otherwise, the Broncos would not have spent a first-round draft pick on the offensive lineman. There is always a risk in taking a lineman in the first round, but if it works out for a team then that likely helps build a stable offensive line that can protect a franchise quarterback and open up room for the running game. Coming from Utah, Bolles will bring with him a physical approach to the line that has previously been used to help the running game.