Photo of Joe Bolden
4.6 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'3" Height
  • 231LBS. Weight


This senior captain brings toughness and instinctive play to every game. Bolden's play in the middle has been solid since he won Big Ten All-Freshman team accolades (31 tackles, four for loss) in his first year on campus. As a junior, he racked up 102 tackles, four for loss, and that followed that performance with an honorable mention All-Big Ten senior campaign. Bolden, a co-captain, led the Wolverines with 83 tackles last season, 6.5 for loss.



Productive tackler over the last two years including a 102-tackle season in 2014. Square scraper and keeps a close watch on the ball carrier. Flows to his run fit but reacts back inside if the running back cuts it back. Emotional leader on the team. Punches oncoming linemen from a position of leverage and gets hip roll and arm extension into his lick.


Short limbs and an average body type. Has stiffness in his lower body and doesn’t run with speed. Lacks reactive athleticism for functional movement on the NFL level. Allowed three broken tackles and 11 missed tackles in 2015. Body completely stalls out before responding on bootleg play­action. Attempts to mirror runner as he scrapes but lacks the acceleration to leverage against the sideline. Very slow in his drops into space.

Draft Projection

Undrafted free agent

Bottom Line

Lacks the size, speed and athleticism teams look for from NFL linebackers. A conversion to fullback might be worth a shot.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster