Over the past decade, we've grown accustomed to NFL Wide Receivers showing off, making bold statements about their ability, and being extremely confident, and a little bit cocky, about themselves. What if you put that kind of personality into a smaller frame and put him on the other side of the ball? That's Arizona State CB Omar Bolden.
Of all the interviews we sat through at the Combine, Bolden's stuck out the most. Well, behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but those were expected. Bolden was extremely confident, challenged a member of the media, in a joking sense, when he asked a question about his size, and wanted to make it abundantly clear he was the best CB in the draft. He was also pretty jacked too.
Bolden played in 41 career games for the Sun Devils, playing in all 13 games as a true Freshman. He had 138 tackles, seven interceptions (two returned for TDs), and 21 pass breakups in his career. His value also grows when you consider he was a pretty accomplished kickoff returner, averaging almost 31 yards per return, and took two of them to the house, one coming against Wisconsin in 2010. While kickoffs drastically lost their luster last year with the change on where teams kick off from, I'm sure he could return punts if asked.
The biggest question mark with Bolden is whether he can stay healthy. He missed the entire 2011 season with an ACL injury suffered during Spring practice. It's a testament to the kind of character of Bolden that he stuck around, was a leader in the locker room, despite not playing a single down in his final year, one he almost decided to forgo to enter the draft last year. He also suffered a season-ending injury in his junior season after the fourth game, also in practice. With all the injuries the Colts have suffered through the past few seasons, it might be a bad idea to take a chance, even with a talented guy like Bolden. Maybe the new coaching staff will take care of the injury bug we've seen, but it's a legitimate concern no matter where Bolden ends up.
After the jump we have what some draft sites have to say about Bolden, as well as all his measurements from the Combine, audio from his media session, and my thoughts on him.
A little on the short side, but is solidly built and has the frame to play either on the outside or in the slot. Is a naturally gifted athlete with impressive fluidity in the hips and burst out of his breaks...The skill set is there for this guy to be a starter in the NFL. Needs to play a little stronger and has to clean up his footwork in order to stick, but gives you some versatility to play inside and out on a defense.
Athletic, competitive, mature cover man with a pro makeup who flashes playmaking ability when healthy, but has been injury-prone. Was highly regarded prior to ACL tear, and spring workouts will determine standing. Has solid character and offers value as kickoff returner.
Bolden was a productive three-year starter at left corner for Arizona State. He missed the final eight games of the 2009 season due to injury and sat out in 2011 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, so his recovery and return are integral to his value. When healthy, he is a big, athletic cover corner with second-round value and the ability to start immediately.
Combine Media Session (5:41)
Bolden was a good player, when he wasn't injured, and has additional value as a return man. The question will be how much do his prior knee injuries play in him staying healthly going forward. It's tough to tell what his draft value will be after missing the entire 2011 season, but I've seen anywhere from 3rd to 5th round. I hope the Colts don't reach for him, because of the injury history, but he fell to the later rounds, I'd be ok with a flyer on him. He'll certainly be ready to prove people wrong for passing him up so many times.
For a complete list of prospects and profiles, check out our 2012 Draft Profiles Page.