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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Omar Bolden

| | College: Arizona State
 
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
Overview

One of the top corners in the country, Bolden was looking forward to a big senior year--until he tore his left ACL at an April practice. NFL teams, however, have shown in recent years that will gladly use high picks on players (QB Sam Bradford, TE Kyle Rudolph, TE Rob Gronkowski) who missed most or all of their final year of college.

When healthy, Bolden's resume speaks for itself. He earned nine starts in 13 games, and Freshman All-American honors, in his first year in Tempe, intercepting one pass and breaking up six others. His second year was even more successful, as the 12-game starter intercepted two passes and deflected seven others. A knee injury in the fourth game of 2009 knocked Bolden out of the line-up (one INT, one PBU, 89-yard kickoff return for TD), but he bounced back as a junior to garner first-team All-Pac-10 honors at cornerback (three INT, seven PBU) and second-team as a kickoff returner (29.2 avg).

Bolden's cover skills and return ability could earn him good grades as long as he can prove himself healthy at the Scouting Combine next February or a campus workout soon afterwards. Even with missing part of two seasons with knee injuries and lacking great size on the outside, his talent may be too much for teams to pass up in the top 100 picks.

Analysis

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.

Career Notes

Highly recruited cornerback who was a five-year member of the Sun Devil football team … a four-year starter in the Sun Devil defensive backfield … appeared in 41 games in his career, including all 25 played during his first two seasons at ASU … made 22 consecutive starts from the fifth game of his freshman season in 2007 to Sept. 19, 2009 … recorded seven interceptions and 21 pass break-ups in four seasons … also had 138 career tackles (100 solo) … was named to several Freshman All-America teams in 2007 … in March of 2010, was granted an additional year of eligibility for the Sun Devil football team, as his medical hardship petition was approved by the Pac-10 due to missing almost the entire 2009 season because of injury … NFL prospect who came back to finish his commitment to Sun Devil Football before suffering an injury in the spring that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season … graduated in spring 2011 with a B.I.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Justice Studies/Sociology).

2011 Season

Missed the entire season due to an injury … named a team captain … earned Hard Hat player recognition for his work in ASU's offseason strength and conditioning program.

2010 Season

Injured his knee during spring 2011 practices. Excels in a dual role, both as a cornerback and kickoff return specialist … was one of only four unanimous selections for the 2010 All-Pacific-10 Conference First-Team as selected by the league's coaches … also earned Midseason All-Pac-10 team … had team high seven pass breakups for the season, which also matched his career high he set in 2008 … also led Sun Devil defense with three interceptions for 85 yards … collected 52 tackles, including 37 solo stops for the year … brought home Kickoff Returner Performer of the Week honors Sept. 18 vs #11 Wisconsin due in part to a 97 yard kickoff return at the end of the first quarter to give the Sun Devils their first lead of the game … earned College Football Performance Awards Football Bowl Subdivision Honorable Mention Cornerback Performer of the Week Oct. 9 by having three tackles, including two solo and a three-yard tackle for loss in the game and intercepting the Huskies' final pass to clinch the win for ASU … Honorable Mention Defensive Back Performer of the Week Nov. 6 vs USC due to his five tackle (four solo) performance as well as a 66 yard interception return … returned 11 kickoffs for 321 yards and a 29.2 yard average … for his work as a return specialist, Bolden also was named Second-Team All-Pac-10 … earned Hard Hat player recognition for his work in ASU's offseason strength and conditioning program.

2009 Season

Recorded an interception, a pass break-up and four tackles (two solo) in the first four games of the season before suffering knee injury in practice during week leading up to game at Washington St … Sat the remaining eight games of the year in order to be healthy for the 2010 season … returned a kick 89 yards for a touchdown against Louisiana-Monroe, his first career kick return for a touchdown … gathered 123 yards on two kick returns … started Sept. 5 vs. Idaho St. and at Georgia Sept. 26.

2008 Season

Started all 12 games at cornerback … finished fifth on the team with 49 tackles (37 solo) … totaled seven pass break-ups and two interceptions on the season … was an Honorable Mention Sophomore All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com … had two tackles in season-opening victory over Northern Arizona on Aug. 30 … recorded three tackles in win over Stanford on Sept. 6 … collected six tackles (all solo) and a pass break-up against UNLV on Sept. 13 … posted a season-high seven tackles (six solo) and had a pass break-up against No. 3 Georgia on Sept. 20 … had five tackles (four solo) at California on Oct. 4 … recorded his first interception of the season at No. 8 USC on Oct. 11 … his interception came on the second of three straight possessions in the third quarter that the Sun Devils picked off Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez … collected six tackles (five solo) and a pass break-up against Oregon on Oct. 25 … had four solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, at Oregon State on Nov. 1 … totaled four tackles and two pass break-ups in win at Washington on Nov. 8 … posted two tackles in victory over Washington State on Nov. 15, part of a defensive effort that produced ASU's first shutout in 12 seasons … recorded five tackles (four solo) and a pass break-up in win over UCLA on Nov. 28 … had three tackles at Arizona on Dec. 6, and collected his second interception of the year when he picked off Wildcats quarterback Willie Tuitama in the end zone late in the second quarter.

2007 Season

Played in all 13 games, making nine starts … became a starting cornerback in the fifth game of the season, and remained a starter for the rest of the year … totaled 33 tackles (24 solo), six pass break-ups and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown, on the season … was named to the AON Insurance Freshman All-America Team, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America … named a First-Team Freshman All-American by Scout.com, and received Second-Team Freshman All-America honors from Rivals.com and CollegeFootballNews.com … was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News … made his first career tackle in season-opening win over San Jose State on Sept. 1 … in his first career college start, he intercepted a pass in the second quarter and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown to help ASU to a victory at Stanford on Sept. 29 … he also had four tackles (two solo) in the win over the Cardinal … recorded two tackles and a pass break-up at Washington State on Oct. 6 and against Washington on Oct. 13 … collected a season-high five tackles (three solo) in win over California on Oct. 27 … had three tackles and two pass break-ups at Oregon on Nov. 3, and posted three tackles at UCLA on Nov. 10 … recorded four tackles and a pass break-up in victory over Arizona on Dec. 1 … matched his season high with five tackles (four solo) in Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against Texas on Dec. 27 … won the Bill Kajikawa Sun Devil Award, given to the team's most outstanding freshman, at the team's year-end banquet.

High School

A 2007 graduate of Colony High School in Ontario, Calif … .one of ASU's most highly-acclaimed signees of the 2007 class … has blazing speed and the ability to star either in the offensive backfield or the defensive secondary … most likely to play cornerback for the Sun Devils … one of the most exciting athletes in the state of California in 2006 … praised for his ball skills as a defender, mainly resulting from his experience on offense … ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the 2006 Scout.com Los Angeles Combine, the fastest by any player at the camp and the fourth-fastest among participants at Scout.com's 13 nationwide high school combines throughout the year … ranked as the preseason No. 37 player overall in the West and the region's No. 6 cornerback by Scout.com … also rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … listed as a preseason All-American and the No. 43 cornerback in the nation by SuperPrep … also regarded as the No. 36 player in the state of California and the state's No. 6 cornerback by SuperPrep … rated as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the nation and the No. 31 player in the state of California by Rivals.com … regarded as the No. 5 running back in California by Rivals.com.

Listed as the No. 16 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com … named the No. 38 player in the Farwest in the postseason by SuperPrep … was named the C.I.F. Central Division Most Valuable Player and the Inland Valley Player of the Year after leading Colony to its first C.I.F. title as a senior in 2006 … led the Mt. Baldy League in scoring and rushing yards in 2006 … won the league rushing crown by over 1,000 yards … as a senior he ran for 2,003 yards and 26 touchdowns and amassed over 2,500 all-purpose yards … averaged 143.1 rushing yards-per-game as a senior … also caught nine passes for 150 yards (16.7 yards per catch) and one touchdown … on defense, he totaled 80 tackles, two blocked punts and one interception … recorded over 700 rushing yards and six touchdowns as a junior, despite missing four games due to injury, but still earned All-Mt. Baldy League honors and was chosen as Colony High's Most Valuable Player … chose ASU over USC and received several other offers, from schools including Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon State and Washington … coached by Anthony Rice at Colony High School.

Personal

A BIS major with concentrations in Sociology and Justice Studies.

 
Latest News
04/30/2012 - All that separated fourth-round cornerback Omar Bolden from the upper reaches of the draft was his left knee. In the last three seasons, Bolden missed one year (2011) entirely and most of another (2009) because of injuries to it. A sprained MCL torpedoed his sophomore season three years ago; a torn ACL during last spring's practice brought his college career to a premature end. A torn labrum that necessitated post-season surgery in 2008 only adds to the litany of pain that has dogged Bolden throughout his career. But his talent and potential was undeniable; in his only full season of the last three years (2010, Bolden was a first-team All-Pac 10 cornerback and second-team all-conference returner. The Broncos are banking on 2010 being the norm for Bolden, who missed 21 of Arizona State's 37 games the last three seasons. "We think was a first or a second-round talent, and we were able to get him in the fourth," Elway said. - The Sports Xchange

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