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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Seahawks get the best offensive tackle in the nation

Utah v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Mocking the Draft’s Dan Kadar released his first post-Super Bowl mock draft, and he has the Seattle Seahawks taking Garrett Bolles, tackle out of Utah:

The Seahawks have to get better up front, and Bolles gets the nod over Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp solely thanks to his superior length.

Now, Kadar didn’t say that Bolles was the “best tackle in the nation” and in fact he mentions Lamp and has Bolles going after Ryan Ramczyk and Cam Robinson. But if you’ve listened to my 3000 NFL Mock Draft podcast or perused, you’d know that Rob Staton believes whole-heartedly that not only is he the best tackle in this draft, there isn’t a better one in the country.

Staton profiled Bolles back in November:

Bolles has a backstory similar to Bruce Irvin’s. According to this piece in the Salt Lake Tribune he had a troubled upbringing, got involved in drugs and was arrested for vandalism.

His dad kicked him out and he ended up living with another family. They laid out some strict ground rules and he took a job in garage repair. He turned his life around (now married and expecting his first child) and then turned his life to football.

Like Irvin, Bolles joined a JUCO college. He played for Snow College and received four and five star ratings for his performances.

So what about the fit in Seattle?

The Seahawks don’t appear to be overly concerned about age having drafted Irvin in his mid-20’s. They love players that have battled adversity and ‘lived’ — showing grit to accomplish success. As we’ve discussed, they’re likely to be looking for nasty, mean, physical types with great size (6-5, 300lbs) and athleticism.

Bolles ticks every box. The grit, the backstory, the physical profile, the mean streak.

Here’s what I see from him:

— Superb balance and ability to set in pass protection, lock on and finish

— Nasty edge as a blocker, will dump players onto the deck and play through the whistle

— Fantastic leg drive in the run game, capable of locking on and blowing defenders off the LOS to create running lanes

— Smooth kick step that could still use a little refinement but he’s plenty agile and looks like a plus athlete

— Defenders unable to shake him once contact initiated

— Has shown the ability to get to the second level, locate and connect with a linebacker

Rob put Bolles to Seattle in his next mock draft, but since then we believe he’s solidified a spot in the top 20. Though he’s 24 and had just the one year at Utah, Bolles very well could come out of the combine as the number one tackle in the draft. Since it is a weak draft for tackles, that means that teams drafting in the teens know that they might not get a better chance to take an offensive lineman than at that point. You can’t sit there and see Bolles and think “Well, I can just take a tackle in round two.” The drop off is too significant and the position too important.

If he does really well at the combine, I see the Chargers at 7, Panthers at 8, and Bengals at 9 all considering Bolles, and if not, maybe the Colts at 15, Broncos at 20, Lions at 21, Giants at 23, and Texans at 25.

I love Kadar’s idea that Bolles could fall to the Seahawks at 26 here, but I anticipate it becoming an impossible dream by March. If Seattle does fall in love with Bolles, they may need to do something they never do, which is trade up.

Not likely.