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My (Somewhat Ironic) Draft Guy: Alabama WR Slade Bolden

| April 25th, 2022


Lance Zierlein.

From his draft profile on NFL.com:

Slot target who will catch and gain what is available but is unlikely to do much beyond that. Bolden has adequate quickness for the Alabama scheme but isn’t an explosive separator. He has the hands and toughness to work in the middle of the field but will see diminishing catch windows the further he gets from the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t have the speed or catch radius to help inaccurate passers and he doesn’t appear to have enough talent to shine outside of the Alabama juggernaut.


Tweet.


Video.


Thoughts.

  • Draft him. Don’t let him slide to the UFA market, where he’ll inevitably sign with the Patriots. Those late-round picks rarely yield positive results. Take a shot on a player that could be a significant contributor at the NFL level. (NFL.com’s seven-round mock has the Pats taking him in the 6th round.)
  • Cooper Kupp ran a 4.62. Bolden runs a 4.66. Their athletic profiles are THAT different? By the way, here’s what Lance Zierlein – an analyst I love – said about Kupp: “His transition to NFL-level cornerbacks will take time, but he has the ability to become an early No. 3 receiver and eventual starter.” This is not an argument that Bolden is the next Kupp. He’s likely not. But these quick-hit slot guys are a young QB’s best friend. And Justin Fields needs some friends.
  • The criticism that “he played for a juggernaut in Alabama” seems silly to me. You want to draft players that went to crappy schools instead? Bolden fought his way onto the field and produced, competing against the most gifted roster in college football. Don’t be surprised if he becomes productive on specials, knowing it’s his quickest path to the game day roster.

[Editor’s Note: My NFL scout buddy thinks Bolden is a non-prospect.]

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