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Nick Bolton

LB

Missouri

Height

5'11"

Weight

237

Vertical
Hand
Arm
Wingspan
32"
10 3/8"
31 7/8"
76 1/4"
40-Time
Vertical
Broad Jump
3-Cone
4.6
32"
9' 7"
7.4
10-Time
20-Time
20-Shuttle
60-Shuttle
4.5

7.42

Final Grade

Injury History

Games Evaluated

Alabama, Georgia, LSU

Team Fit

PHI

DEN

DET

Strengths 

His physicality stands out, especially in between the tackles against the run. Is a violent tackler and plays with a high motor. Also has great play processing and recongnition skills. Goes through his reads quickly and reacts with very little hesitation. Has the leadership qualities you look for from a linebacker as he commands the defense and makes the necessary calls. Does a great job of diagnosing routes in zone coverage and finding work against the pass.

Weaknessess

Lack of size can hinder him at times. Struggles to shed blocks quickly, especially against bigger, stronger offensive linemen that he faces. Also needs to work on his pad level to help him in these situations. Isn't slow but his average speed could hurt him when playing man coverage or running down ball carriers from the backside. Lack of lateral agility also puts him at a disadvantage when making tackles in the open field against shiftier ball carriers. If he is asked to come off the edge as a pass rusher, he will need to work on having a wider variety of pass rush moves.

Big Picture

Nick Bolton had an impressive two seasons as a starting inside linebacker at Missouri. Burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2019, finishing with 103 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). These honors earned him First Team All-SEC recognition. He followed that performance with another solid year in his third and final season with the Tigers. Bolton led the team with 95 total tackles along with eight sacks and five pass deflections. This earned him Second Team All-American honors along with First Team All-SEC and being named a finalist for the 2020 Butkus Award. At the next level, Bolton should make an immediate impact on defense as well as someone who can play special teams. He is best suited at Mike linebacker but can play at the Will as well. I see him going anywhere from the late first-second round of this year's draft. Depending on where he is drafted, he could be a Day 1 starter but if not he should be used heavily in the rotation and earn an eventual starting role if he develops in the system.

Player Comp

Devin Bush Jr.

Athleticism:

7.36

7.25

Is about average athletically for a starting linebacker. Plays with an impressive amount of explosiveness, running his feet on contact and bringing some force with him when making a tackle. Also plays with strong, violent hands which helps him overcome his size disadvantage when taking on blocks. Isn't going to get run over easily as a tackler. Has very good closing quickness as he comes downhill with a sense of urgency. Isn't slow by any means but also doesn't have speed that will blow you away. Also doesn't have the best lateral agility which can effect him when changing direction or trying to make tackles in open space.

Lateral Agility
Explosiveness
Playing Speed
Play Strength
Closing Quickness
7
7.5
7.3
7.4
7.6

7.4

Pass Rush Ability:

7.25

7.25

Big Play Ability

First-Step Quickness
Rush with Leverage
Pass Rush Moves
Timing
7.5
7.3
7.3
7.5

Isn't used a ton as a true pass rusher off the edge but shows promise as a blitzer. Does a great job of timing the quarterback's cadence to get a good jump and initial burst through the gap. Has a quick first step with very few occurences of false steps when rushing the passer. Doesn't show a wide variety of pass rush moves as he simply tries to win with speed or with a bull rush. Could work on being more consistent with his pad level when rushing the passer.

Coverage:

7.4

7.25

Shows that he can be trusted as a three-down linebacker who can drop into coverage. Is very smooth in his drops and gets to them quickly. Has a great understanding of route concepts and does a good job of finding receivers in his zones. Is very comfortable in zone coverage against underneath routes and does a solid job of getting to his zone and finding work. Showed the ability to play man coverage but could struggle against faster slot receivers and tight ends down the seam.

Fluidity
Route Recognition
Man Coverage
Zone Coverage
7.3
7.5
7.3
7.5

Against The Run:

7.44

7.25

Is at his best in between the tackles against the run. Is a physical tackler that comes with a lot of power and does a good job of running his feet on first contact. Does a good job of running sideline to sideline and makes good pursuit angles to the ball when the play is away from him. While he plays with violent hands, his size can put him at a disadvantage at times when shedding blocks and he takes longer to do so than some other linebackers. Could also be more consistent with his pad level when taking on blocks and making tackles.

Play with Leverage
Stack and Shed
Range
Pursuit Angles
Tackling
7.3
7.3
7.5
7.5
7.6

Competitiveness:

7.63

Plays with a great amount of toughness and isn't afraid to stick his nose in the middle of the action between the tackles. Has an impressive amount of physicality in his game. Plays with a consistent and high motor at all times but can be inconsistent in other areas of his game like pad level, open field tackling, etc. Seemed to be constantly in command of is defense and kept his composure throughout the game.

Toughness
Leadership
Consistency/Motor
7.6
7.7
7.6

Intelligence:

7.57

7.25

Has outstanding processing skills. Goes through his reads and reacts with a sense of urgency. Is very good at diagnosing the run or pass. When it is a run, he gets downhill quickly and in a passing situation, he gets to his drops. Also does a good job of seeing the open gaps when blitzing. Played both inside the box and outside in college. Is better suited as a Mike linebacker at the next level but has the ability to play in a Will role if asked to as well.

Processing Skills:
Play Recognition
Position Versatility
7.6
7.7
7.4
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