All I could think of as Garett Bolles took the podium in Philadelphia moments after the Broncos chose him 20th overall in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday was “The Lion King.”
Bolles brought his son, Kingston, on stage with him and proceeded to raise him above his head in a manner reminiscent of a scene from the G.O.A.T. Disney movie.
It was a nice moment for a player who took a meandering route to the pros.
Bolles got a late start playing Division I college football because he was in and out of trouble as a teenager. He was kicked out of five different schools. In 2010, he was arrested for vandalizing and later spent time in jail.
His father booted him out of the house at one point. Bolles was taken in by his high school lacrosse coach, which he credits as a turning point for him. Bolles completed an LDS mission in Colorado Springs.
“I love Colorado,” Bolles told BSN Denver in March. “I have a heart there because those were the people that I taught on my mission, so if I end up going there, I’d be just fine.”
Bolles, who turns 25 in May, will likely compete for the team’s starting left tackle job when training camp begins. The Broncos lost Russell Okung, who started all 16 games for them at left tackle in 2016, in free agency. His departure created a massive hole that needs filing.
The Broncos’ offensive line was a big factor in the team missing the playoffs the season after wining the Super Bowl. The unit, which allowed the ninth-most sacks in football and contributed to a rushing attack that averaged just 3.6 yards per carry, was one of the NFL’s worst in 2016.
The addition of the 6-foot-5, 297-pound Bolles is an attempt to improve it. Denver also added offensive guard Ronald Leary in free agency. The Broncos gave him a four-year deal worth $20 million in guaranteed money.
On the field, Bolles in considered a physical player. As Broncos corner Chris Harris Jr. put it on Twitter shortly after Denver’s selection, “Bolles look like he a Big nasty Dog lol.”
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