2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Nick Bolton Profile

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Welcome back for a look at my 2021 NFL Draft Nick Bolton Profile! Today we’re going to take a look at Nick Bolton’s college production, my review of his film, and take a look at what I think his NFL Draft Stock might look like!

If you haven’t yet please check out my other draft profiles that include Micah Parsons, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kwity Paye, Patrick Surtain II, Caleb Farley, and Michael Carter! And definitely don’t forget to check out the F6P NFL Draft Team’s NFL Mock Draft!

Also please check out all of my offseason content here!

2021 NFL Draft Nick Bolton Profile

Collegiate Career

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Overview

Nick Bolton got his first start in his Sophomore Season and gained additional work when his teammate got injured. This led to an excellent statistical Sophomore Season.

Bolton performed as a leader to the Missouri defense, and was referred to by most as the “Heart and Soul” of the defense.

He was elected to the First Team All-SEC in his Sophomore and Junior Seasons.

Stats

*Note: His Freshman year is not listed, due to his small role*

In his Sophomore Season Bolton accrued 103 Tackles (74 Solo), 8.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Sack, 2 Interceptions, and 7 Passes Defensed.

As a Junior Bolton amassed 95 Tackles (53 Solo), 8 Tackles for Loss, 2 Sacks, 5 Passes Defensed, and 1 Fumble Recovery.

Now, let’s break that down a bit. His Solo Tackle rate is downright impressive in his Sophomore Season. Almost 3/4 of his tackle production are Solos. I’ve mentioned this before but this is a stat I pay a lot of attention to.

My reason being is that if you’re able to register a Solo Tackle as opposed to an Assist, you’re usually getting to the ball first and/or you’re able to make the tackle on your own without assistance, this shows sure tackling.

Being the first to the ball carrier often reflects instincts and play recognition. Another stat that plays to this narrative is his Tackles for Loss. This especially points toward speed and instincts. There isn’t a lot of time to get into the backfield, and you gotta do it QUICK.

With all that said I must love him, right? Let’s look at the tape.
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Tale of the Tape

Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed by his tape. The instincts are there sure. But when he makes a misread it usually results in a big play for the opposition. Granted, he wasn’t playing with an elite defense by any means. He lives and dies by his instincts.

Another thing I noticed was he struggles to navigate through traffic. He can get through from time to time, sure, but he’s not consistent. So what happens is he fails to get to his spot, and then doesn’t even get a chance at the tackle. He gets caught up on better linemen, and with his smaller frame, he struggles to disengage. I have seen him navigate well, but it’s almost rare.

His tackling really isn’t great. If he’s wrapping anyone up well it’s usually by the legs. His diving leg tackle is darn near elite and very exciting to watch. However, he’s not a LB you’re going to put up against Derrick Henry and think he has a single chance to stop him.

His size is going to be a problem at the next level. I see him getting bullied by lineman and bigger RBs constantly. There’s a play against Georgia where he meets the RB for a loss/no gain play and hits him hard enough that you think it’d be a tackle for loss. But nope, Bolton lets the tackle go, and allows a first down.

Sure he can bulk up some. But will he still be as fast? He’s praised for his speed, and it is a big part of his game. If he can’t be fast can he navigate traffic faster and become more of a sure tackler? I think that’s a big ask.

Projections

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NFL Draft Projections

I used to have Bolton in my first round of NFL Mock Drafts. I don’t really see that happening going forward. At best I think you see him in the tail end of the 1st Round. But I could see him going as low as the 4th Round. Sorry, not sorry.

For starters, Linebacker isn’t a highly sought-after position and isn’t valued in drafts, unless you’re elite. He needs work and has upside. Day Two is when I think he’ll end up drafted.

IDP Projection

I have a great feeling that Nick Bolton will be the offseason darling that everyone drafts too high, that doesn’t perform this season. Much like Willie Gay this past season. Bolton needs some time to adapt to the NFL level, and would likely be a liability on multiple levels on most defenses.

I’m staying away in redraft, and I’m waiting until the last round to draft Bolton in my Dynasty IDP Rookie Drafts. Therefore I likely won’t have many shares off the bat. Which is fine. I’ll just add shares after people drop him when he’s not getting any burn.

If he were to start Day One (Not that I think he will), and not have these areas corrected, I think he could still produce for your Fantasy Teams. My main concern would be if he gets benched. Which would not be good for your team, or Bolton in the long term.

He’s not better than Parsons. Sorry.
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Conclusion

Thanks for reading my 2021 NFL Draft Nick Bolton Profile! Nick Bolton is an interesting case. There’s going to be a lot of people that are very high on him, and that’s fine. It just isn’t me. I think he has potential, but he does need polish and is not a day one starter in my opinion.


Also be sure to check out our Super Bowl edition of the 2021 NFL Mock Draft, as well as the Fantasy Six Pack Way Too Early 2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

About Bob Van Duser

Here to shed some light on the IDP side of Fantasy Football. With years of experience I intend to expand the horizons of players and show them how exciting IDP can be in their leagues, as well as providing a reputable source to those who play in IDP leagues already but may want to see a differing opinion or may be looking for further details and research

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3 Comments

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