With the 101st overall selection the Broncos selected cornerback Omar Bolden out of Arizona State.
Not a bad selection for the 4th round, has the talent to potentially start at the #2 spot, but with injury concerns he might struggle to return to his pre-injury form. Could be a great selection if he nabs the #2 spot in 2013, but if he struggles to beat out Chris Harris and Sy'Quan Thompson, could be seen as a bad selection. Overall medium risk/high reward, I like it.
Bolden was said to do well at his pro day. He either wasn't able to, or simply decided not to, run at the Combine. He did lead all cornerbacks with an impressive total on the bench press of 25 reps. Bolden showed that at least he has been working hard in the weight room while missing the 2011 season.
Bolden could be worth a gamble and may be a big reward as he had second-day ability before his knee injury. At his pro day, Bolden ran a solid 40 just under 4.6. Considering he still is building back up to playing again, it was a fairly impressive time. Bolden is taking a number of pre-draft visits.
Man Coverage: Excellent quickness and straight-line speed to stay with any receiver down the sideline and recover from double-moves. Closes quickly on out routes, often beating the ball to the spot. Smaller than teams prefer on the outside but plays tougher than his listed size would indicate. Larger receivers separate with length and strength off the line in press. Has enough recovery speed helps him to catch up but can struggle to make the play if in that mode. Gives up height and size in the red zone, as well. Needs to learn how battle receivers without drawing penalty flags, gets very physical downfield. Must work on staying in backpedal until receiver tips off his route; lets up at times, allowing his man to run past him.Zone Coverage: Would excel in zone systems with closing speed and toughness. Usually plays well off the line to see the field but possesses the foot quickness to play near the receiver and adjust to inside and outside routes. Gives up few yards after the catch and is capable of breaking up throws by accelerating into the receiver, wrapping him up, and getting his hand on the ball. A step late passing off initial receiver but usually recovers quickly enough to stop underneath route after the catch.Ball Skills: Excels in the tip drill, taking advantage of jump balls to take the pass the other way for a score. Quick hands allow him to knock away passes when in position, though he will struggle to find or dislodge the ball when recovering or being physical downfield. Possesses enough quickness, elusiveness and straight-line speed to be an effective NFL kickoff returner, though he lacks breakaway speed and has only average vision to find running lanes.Run Support: Provides assistance in the run game because his average height belies his strength. Secure tackler who does not rely on cuts to bring down backs coming into his area. Nearly always avoids or frees himself from receiver blocks with tenacity and quick hands after initial contact, though NFL receivers may be more able to control him with their advanced strength and length.Tackling: Very reliable wrapping up a ballcarrier's leg or midsection to bring them down, breaks down quickly and plays with real aggression. Hustles on deep angle to opposite sideline for plays run away from him. Willing to stick his shoulder into a receiver to separate the ball when coming to the aid of another defender in zone.Intangibles: Well-liked teammate with positive attitude who leads with words and by example. Rehabbing torn left ACL from spring 2011 will test his work ethic; being healthy for the Scouting Combine or pro day would be a big positive. Very confident player who gives full effort and owns a short memory.
Positives -- Speed is the name of his game... Also has some quick feet with good short area burst, can plant his foot and make plays... Has the top end speed to run with wide receivers and the ability to recover in coverage...Physical for his size and will mix it up and get off of blocks... Is able to get off blocks when necessary to make plays... Rallies to the football... Decent ball skills, recorded seven interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 41 career games, including 35 starts... Will wrap up ball carriers with sure tackling... A multi talented weapon as a defensive back or returner... Shows ability in the return game, is able to use quickness to get north and south... Quality teammate and hard worker, definitely puts the team in front of his personal goals... A tough player and leader on the field, was named team captain of the Sun Devils despite not playing in the 2011 season... Was one of the top defensive back prospects in the Pac-12 prior to his injury... Led all defensive backs with 24 reps of 225 lbs. at the combine.
Negatives -- Injuries have slowed him down, missed the entire 2011 season with a ACL injury... Had previously been granted a medical hardship waiver after missing eight games in 2009 with a knee injury... Bigger wide receivers seem to give him problems, will have to prove his height will not be an issue at the next level, otherwise needs to show that he has the skill set to be more than just a slot cornerback in the NFL... Will need to show at his pro day that he is fully recovered from the ACL injury suffered during a scrimmage April 3, 2011.
Pro Football Weekly
Looking forward to see if Bolden's potential can match up with the production our current corners are at.