Garett Bolles is coming off a very impressive 2020 campaign. As the Denver Broncos' starting left tackle, Bolles became an analytics darling and although he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl, his second-team All-Pro nod proved how far he'd come from being the penalty magnet of his first three years.
Is Bolles one of the NFL's best left tackles? He was last year. But could he be the best in the league?
Von Miller thinks so.
"Garett Bolles, he’s blocking the best pass rushers in the league," Miller said Tuesday on the doorstep of training camp. "He is the best left tackle in the league. If he’s not the best, he’s Top 3 and he’s not [No.] 3. I’m so proud of him."
Bolles was Denver's 2017 first-round pick out of Utah. He arrived as a pro very raw with just one year of collegiate Division I football under his belt as a left tackle.
The Broncos saw his enormous athletic potential. And so did Miller, who took Bolles under his wing as a rookie and helped give him a guiding light.
Bolles "loves Von dearly" and that Pro Bowl example surely helped the once embattled left tackle find his way in the NFL. The Miller-Bolles relationship is still strong and perhaps one of the most unique on the team.
"Y’all know about my relationship with Garett Bolles and the type of jump that he’s made," Miller continued. "He’s definitely developing into a big-time left tackle, so we’ve got time."
Just as the Broncos seem to have solved the left tackle issue, right tackle has persisted as a thorn in the side. After releasing the injured Ja'Wuan James this past spring, the Broncos have added a few different guys to compete at right tackle, including veterans Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming.
However, head coach Vic Fangio advised people not to "go to sleep" on Calvin Anderson, who started two games for the Broncos last year and also happened to rent a room from Bolles. Bolles echoes his coach's outlook on Anderson being a "viable candidate" to beat out vets like Massie and Fleming for the starting right tackle gig."
Whichever way it shakes out, Bolles sees significantly better depth at right tackle this year while Miller sees improvement on the horizon.
"We’ve got Bobby Massie on the other side, [G] Dalton Risner, and all these guys," Miller said. "I can go out there and play quarterback, and I can throw it to Jerry Jeudy and he’s going to catch it and score a touchdown, all this stuff. I’m super excited for our offense, I’m super excited for our defense. We brought in a lot of support players as well for our special teams and there’s no reason for us not to win games. I don’t know how many games we’re going to win but I know we will win a lot of games this year.”
Indeed, if the 2021 season were a hunt, the Broncos would be loaded for bear. This is a stacked roster just waiting for a quarterback to emerge, turn the corner, and lead this club out of the NFL doldrums for the first time since 2015.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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