The newest member of the Denver Broncos doesn’t have a ton of experience at the highest levels of football, but he has the skills and intangibles that made it worth selecting him 20th overall in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Bolles played just one season at the Division I level before entering the NFL Draft, but at 25 years old after having served a mission trip, he brings age to balance that experience.
“Very, very raw,” former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden of 120 Sports said about Garett Bolles, the left tackle from Utah. “But, the upside is extremely high in Bolles, and I think John Elway realizes that.
“They’re not saying they’re expecting for Bolles to come in and be one of the best linemen on that offensive line in year one. But they feel like going forward this is a guy who could be a mainstay at the tackle position.”
At Thursday night’s post-selection press conference, head coach Vance Joseph said the Broncos won’t necessarily be disappointed if Bolles isn’t ready to start on day one.
“The best player should play,” Joseph said. “Obviously, he’s a first-round pick and is going to come in and compete for that job, but he has to win that job and the best guy will play. He was drafted here for a reason.”
On that same topic, general manager John Elway said he’s excited about the competition that Bolles will create as an addition to the line.
“I think it’s going to be a great competition. I think what make players better is competition. That’s one good thing that we have on our football team. We have a lot of competition at a lot of spots. We now have competition on the offensive line. As we talked about with the few players that we brought in, and the guys that were last year, I really believe they are all going to get better. As Vance said, he’s going to play the best players, and the players that deserve to play,” Elway said.
About those skills, which include his attitude and physicality, Elway had this to say:
“We really like that ability and the explosiveness that he has. One of the key things too, not only to get that kind of athlete at tackle with that size, but also the mentality that he’s going to bring. I think he brings a great mentality to that offensive line that needed a jolt. He’s a perfect fit for what we’ve done in free agency and what we’ve brought in. If Garett turns out to be what we think he is, he solves a big problem for us for a long time, and that’s that left tackle”