Pros: Has a nice first step that shows good quickness to get upfield and get after quarterback. Can penetrate and make plays in the backfield vs. the run. Does a nice job shooting gaps, and is also a decent bull rusher due to his first step. Has good strength and does a nice job making plays in pursuit.
Cons: Has an inconsistent motor and doesn't do a good job getting off blocks. Can wear down in the second half of games and loses effectiveness. Struggles with double teams and often gets pushed off the ball at the point of attack.
Overview: Bolden is primarily a pass-rushing defensive tackle that is a penetrator and disruptor. He has good size and the frame to put on more weight. He plays both in the 1 and 3 techniques, but is much more effective in the latter.
NFL Forecast: As of now, Bolden would make a nice rotation player that comes in on passing downs. If he wants to become a more effective starter, he’s going to need to get bigger, stronger, and better vs. the run. He has the frame to support probably another 15 or so pounds of mass to his frame. He'll lose some of his quickness, but he still should be an effective penetrator. As of now, he struggles too much vs. the run and is too inconsistent for me to trust him as an every down player. I'm not sure he'll ever be a starter. He should get that opportunity because of his pass rush ability, but I'm not sure he'll be consistent enough vs. the run for people to really like him there. As a pass rusher, he has the potential to be a 3-5 sack guy as a starter, but probably not a lot more than that. The best plan for him is to make him part of your rotation, play him off the bench, so he doesn't wear down and can be a disruptive interior player in the 4-3 scheme.
ATL Forecast: Bolden could definitely boost the Falcons pass rush ability, particularly as a situational and rotational player. He would be a better option than players like Chauncey Davis or Jamaal Anderson as an interior pass rusher on third downs since he's bigger than they are. But beyond that, he wouldn't contribute a lot as a Falcon, at least not right away. If he got bigger and stronger, he could eventually take over for Babineaux down the road as the starting under tackle, but it's doubtful he'll ever be an effective nose tackle in Atlanta. His ideal role in Atlanta, which basically be to be groomed behind Babineaux, and take over when Babs hits his 30s.
Value: Bolden has a bit of a starter's upside, but is too much of a work in progress to take before the fifth or sixth rounds.
Scouting Reports of defensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft
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