By now the overreaction is as predictable as the sunrise. For weeks this has been the direction that John Elway and the Denver Broncos would take, but people refused to accept it.
Now that Garett Bolles is the first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and new left tackle of the Broncos, fan still won’t accept it. Despite the fact he has yet to take the field or work with the new offensive coaches, namely offensive line coach Jeff Davidson.
Yes, the selection of Bolles fills a need, but who is to say he wasn’t the top player on their board? It’s clear by now teams fear the shoulder injury to Reuben Foster is severe. Hence Bolles was the top player on Denver’s board, and we can end that nonsense right now. Bolles was the player Elway and the Broncos targeted, and did so since the NFL Combine.
I get it. It’s easy to hate the pick. So many people have said ad nauseam that this is one of the worst offensive line drafts in years. They don’t like the fact that Bolles is 25, isn’t developed and needs work. The really don’t like the fact he got a 9 on the Wonderlic Test. An average score given NFL prospects is 20. For those who don’t know, he has a learning disability.
What I like is Bolles has a chip on his shoulder, and this will only add to it. He’s been told throughout his life he can’t. It’s fitting in the greatest moment of his life that theme carries over. That will make his chip even bigger.
As he said at the NFL Combine in February: “When I’m on the field, I want to put people in the dirt. And that’s what I’m here for. As an offensive lineman, you want to be the nasty prick that you can be. And whoever’s in front of me, I want to drive them and put them in the dirt. So I’m just going to try to be that every single day. And when I’m off the field, I love my family.”
Everything in Bolles’ life he’s busted his ass to get. He’s a nasty offensive linemen, and that’s what the Broncos need in spades. His attitude and penchant to play mean he will impact the other players in the unit to do the same. There’s no doubt Bolles needs work, but Davidson is the guy to do it. Elway and Denver obviously believe in Bolles but also in Davidson to help turn him into the player they expect. The Broncos think Bolles’ ceiling is higher than any of the other offensive linemen in the draft, and he’ll reach that in Denver.
The doom-and-gloom is safe. It’s natural. But, stay with me for a second. What if Bolles is the answer at left tackle? What if he does shut down the left side of the Broncos’ line for the next 10 years? Who is to say his pairing with new left guard Ronald Leary doesn’t become the envy of the NFL? See what I did there? It’s just as easy to remain positive and have an open mind then head to negative town.
I love Garrett Bolles. My favorite OL by far.— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) April 28, 2017
That doesn’t mean I have blue and orange contacts in or that I “trust in Elway.” It means I have no idea. I don’t have the answers. Unlike some who already predict that the Broncos just flushed the 2017 Draft down the toilet bolle - er, bowl - it could just as easily go the other way. Take it from two former offensive linemen in Ross Tucker and Mark Schlereth, who love the pick. Former NFL head coach Brian Billick also loves the pick.
All I’m saying is give it some time. There’s way too much we don’t know to make such bold proclamations - one way or the other.
One thing is clear: Bolles is nasty, he will bust his ass and do whatever he can to be great ... on the field and off. I’m sold.