Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles Draft Watch: Getting to know Nick Bolton

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Nick Bolton was born in Frisco, Texas, where he attended Lone Star High School. Bolton put up 111 tackles and one interception in his junior season and went on to amass 130 tackles and 5 interceptions in his senior year. He then committed to the University of Missouri, where he had a brilliant 3-year career. During his time with the Tigers, Bolton was named to the First Team All-SEC in both 2019 and 2020, and received the AP Second-Team All-American honor in 2020, alongside the likes of Kadarius Toney, Javonte Williams, and many more. 

Here are his 3-year college career stats (via ESPN): 

Strengths: 

  • If you love physical football players then you’ll absolutely adore Nick Bolton. He hits like a truck and his game is built around being as physical as possible. 
  • Just a pure power hitter when it comes to tackling.
  • Not the most dynamic athlete but he knows that and will position himself in the best way to get a clean tackle on the carrier. Takes good angles and will constantly attack the ball carrier with 110%.
  • Really good blitzer and this will help him massively in a league where LB’s are expected to do a little bit of everything on defense. Has a really good initial burst of speed that offensive linemen will struggle to deal with and his effort leads to some impressive block-sheds.
  • You can tell he’s the guy that drove the defense for Missouri. He can be seen constantly bigging up his teammates when they pull off big plays, communicating with them pre-snap and giving out a lot of energy.

Weaknesses: 

  • He’s only 6’0 and that shows with his tackle radius. He can sometimes miss tackles just because he doesn’t have the wingspan to wrap up from further away.
  • Not the most fluid of players with footwork and hip movement, which causes him problems in pass coverage. He’s got good instincts and knows what to do, but his lack of fluidity can sometimes put him a step behind.
  • He isn’t the best block shedder, or atleast he isn’t as good as he could be. He can struggle against blockers who get a hold of his upper body 

What he could bring to the Eagles 

I don’t think I need to say this, but the Eagles are crying out for any kind of talent at linebacker. Alex Singleton had a great breakout year last year, but the Eagles need a lot of talent in that group and that’s exactly what Nick Bolton will bring. Bolton is easily a top 5 linebacker in this year’s draft and will bring an elite level of talent and workrate to the Eagles. 

While there are things Bolton will need to improve on at the next level, there’s nothing there that’s stopping him from being a huge contributor from day 1. He has all the tools to instantly succeed at the next level and will inject a lot of life and talent into a really dull linebacker group in Philadelphia. 

Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire

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