Undrafted Rookie Brandon Bolden Signs With New England Patriots As Free Agent
By Josh Gray
Brandon Bolden, an undrafted rookie free agent, signed a contract today with the New England Patriots. Bolden, a running back from Ole Miss, was a bright spot on the Rebels roster in 2010. He had a setback during 2011 when he broke his ankle. This only caused him to miss a few games, but the injury was nagging and didn’t allow for him to get back to form. This is another great example of New England Head Coach Bill Belichick digging deep for talent initially overlooked by others.
The loss of BenJarvus Green-Ellis to the Bengals, and with Kevin Faulk still a question mark for 2012, leaves the Patriots with some holes to fill in RB depth chart. With only 3 backs on the roster, Bolden could help give the bench the depth it needs. Developing the younger RB’s will be a concern for Coach Belichick and staff, but Tom Brady and the receiving corps will help take the pressure off these young backs and allow them to grow.
His Ole Miss Player Profile:
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Here’s what Pro Football Weekly had to say:
Good size and muscle definition with a thick trunk. Has a 38-inch vertical jump (second-best among backs at the Combine). Effective inside runner — nice vision and good feet in tight quarters. Cuts to daylight and accelerates. Fluid strider. Finishes runs and is not afraid to lower his shoulder. Flashes a stiff-arm. Good hands. Has special-teams experience as a “gunner.”
Runs harder than he does powerfully. Ordinary hip strength and flexibility — not a robust tackle breaker. Average initial quickness and elusiveness (confirmed in RB-worst 4.49-second 20-yard shuttle at Combine). Could stand to improve as a blocker. Is immature and needs to learn what it means to be a pro. Character needs to be investigated.
A solidly built, strong, competitive, upright back, Bolden has the ability to be a No. 2 back in the pros but concerns about his character, maturity and commitment could affect his draft value. Junior tape reveals his best season in Oxford, as he played second fiddle to Chiefs 2010 second-rounder Dexter McCluster as a sophomore and endured injury, suspension and split carries with sophomore Jeff Scott as a senior.