Pros: Physical runner that craves contact. Likes to lower the shoulder and deliver the blow to defender. Has decent speed and shows nice patience as a runner. Has a decent stiff arm.
Cons: Only average in pass protection, and lacks experience as a lead blocker. Despite his physical running style, isn't going to break many tackles or truck many defenders. Lacks the speed to turn the corner as a runner.
Overview: If you hear comparisons to Alstott, that's just people being unimaginative. That comparison only extends to his skin color and size more so than ability. He's a bit of a tweener, as he's a running back in a fullback's body. Transferred from Illinois following his freshman year.
NFL Forecast: If Bolen applies his physical running style to his blocking, then he can make it as a lead blocker in the NFL. But I'm not conﬁdent that he will do that. Just lacks experience as a blocker as of yet, as I never saw him leading the way for another runner any of the times I saw Louisville play the past two years. He's got upside. His running ability isn't anything special, but probably could be a nice option as a short-yardage/goal line runner at the next level. But I think he'll need to bulk up some and learn how to block. Luckily for him, he has experience on special teams, something he'll need as he learns this new position. If he can impact there, then he'll have a chance to stick around for a few years and learn how to be a lead blocker. A couple years down the road, he could be a good fullback because of his ability as a runner and blocker, but he's a project.
ATL Forecast: Bolen brings similar traits to the table as Jason Snelling, and since Snelling has a two-year head start on him, it's doubtful that Bolen would surpass him. Unless the Falcons planned to dump Ovie Mughelli, would I expect Bolen to really have a strong chance at making the roster. It seems doubtful he'd beat out Snelling.
Value: I wouldn't draft Bolen because of his project status, but if a team did, it wouldn't be crazy to take him late in the seventh round for a team with the time and patience to develop a backup fullback. But deﬁnitely worth bringing to camp.
Scouting Reports of running backs and fullbacks in the 2009 draft.
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