SOTT Draft Profile: Omar Bolden
The next few weeks here on State of the Texans we will be doing some draft profiles of some particular players who could possibly fit into the Texans plans. We are not going to try to piece together scouting reports, but we enlist help of bloggers who actually cover the respective player and their school.
There are players in every NFL draft that seem to fly under the radar and in this case in was a torn ACL. This torn ACL took away the Senior season of one of the premier cornerback in the Pac 12 in Sun Devil, Omar Bolden. At 5’10″ and 202 lbs. Bolden led all defensive backs at the 2012 NFL Combine with 24 reps on the bench press, he did not run or participate in any drills as he gets ready for his pro day coming up this month. Bolden is a gifted athlete and a true leader as we will find out, but he adds value in the return game also. Bolden will have to prove he is healthy, but the possible late round selection could be a “steal” in the long run.
Can you give us some background on Bolden?
Bolden came to Arizona State as a highly touted prospect recruited by then-new coach Dennis Erickson, and became a starting cornerback as a true freshman. He developed through a fine sophomore season and was poised for a big junior year before an injury forced him out for the final eight games. With the injury occurring early, he was able to use a redshirt year, He returned in 2010 to become a unanimous First Team All-Pac-10 cornerback and his decision to come back for his final season backfired when he tore his ACL in April and was lost for the year.
What did Bolden mean to the ASU football program?
The loss of Bolden in 2011 was massive both on and off the field. Obviously, he was one of the top cornerbacks in the conference, and was poised to be a major factor in a pass-happy conference. The primary culprit for ASU’s late-season collapse was a porous secondary that allowed an average of 357 yards per game over the final four. But that’s not to say he wasn’t a great asset last season. Bolden had developed into a fantastic leader, and he stayed involved with the team’s preparation each week, and became a source of inspiration and insight for the remaining Sun Devils.
What are Bolden’s strengths and weaknesses?
Bolden is an outstanding cover cornerback, capable of matching up well against a team’s top wide receiver and taking him out of the game. His quickness and top-end speed are great, and his terrific upper body strength (demonstrated with 25 bench press reps at the Combine, tops among all defensive backs) is a great asset in playing bump and run coverage.
The biggest concern is obvious—durability. He missed a nearly two full seasons during his time at ASU, and coming off an ACL injury, there are always questions whether the speed and quickness will return in full. Like many corners, Bolden can sometimes get caught looking or bite on a good pump fake, but overall, those lapses are the exception.
Injuries have derailed Bolden, where was he as a player before the injuries?
As mentioned earlier, he was one of the top cornerbacks in the Pac-10 and he was poised to make a leap into the upper-echelon of the cover corners in the entire country. His combination of size, speed, quickness and instincts helped him to eliminate key targets of opposing offenses. olden’s top-end speed also made him an outstanding kick returner, with two return touchdowns to his credit.
How do you see Bolden at the next level?
Of all the Sun Devils in the draft, Bolden figures to be the safest bet to have a successful career. Osweiler may have a greater ceiling, but Bolden’s skills translate very well to having a lengthy and productive career. He has the skills and experience to be a factor in both man and zone coverage schemes, and while injury concerns may keep him out of the first two rounds, he came become a very good starter if he remains healthy.
Omar Bolden’s workouts since his surgery