Our 2021 NFL Draft prospect spotlight rolls on as we continue with looking at the players that the Las Vegas Raiders could consider with the 17th overall pick.
We went back to the linebackers by looking at Zaven Collins recently, and now we’ll head over to the SEC looking at Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton.
After being used in a rotational role as a freshman, Bolton emerged as a legitimate prospect during his sophomore campaign.
It was then in 2019 that he led the SEC in solo tackles with 74 and finishing with 103 total.
He also had 8.5 tackles for loss, a sack, and two interceptions, taking one back for a touchdown.
Those gaudy numbers led him to be named First Team All-Conference and rated by Pro Football Focus (PFF) as the fourth-best linebacker in college football in 2019.
He once again put up strong numbers in 2020, with 95 total tackles, eight for a loss, and two sacks.
At his best, he looks like he could be a stalwart in the middle of a defense as a classic MIKE linebacker.
There will be some questions, of course, primarily having to do with his size at only 6’0” and 232 pounds.
The majority of Raiders linebackers this season, by comparison, were at least 6’2”.
On the other hand, they had a quality starter in Nicholas Morrow who measures out at 6’0” and was ranked above average by PFF.
Height notwithstanding, Bolton brings strong instincts, athleticism, and experience as a leader, all qualities that could interest the Raiders.
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