Miami Hurricanes, Safety, Bubba Bolden

Bubba Bolden Player Profile

Bubba Bolden has received a lot of praise as a top safety prospect in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft class. I, like many others, was buzzing about his ability and thought he would be a potential day 2 pick next April.

Bolden is a fifth year senior who played his high school ball at nationally renown Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a senior, he only recorded 25 tackles but had 7 Int’s to go along with 2 defensive TD’s. As a result he earned an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American game and a four star rating from 247 sports.

He originally committed to and played for the USC Trojans. During his time at USC he saw the field on special teams very sparingly. On top of that, he received a 28 month suspension that was eventually lifted, after not playing in 2018. As a Hurricane in 2019 he only played in 5 games after awaiting NCAA approval on his transfer. He then was injured celebrating his lone interception of the season.

In 2020 Bolden finally played enough to give us some film and looked more good than bad. I had originally fought for him to be on our preseason top 50 list. After re-watching all of his game film, I see a lot to be desired still and need to see him have a good 2021 campaign before I will stand by my previous assessment. One could say I jumped the gun a bit, but at least I’ll admit it.

Bubba Bolden Strengths

Bolden has the size to play safety in the NFL. He stands 6-3 and weighs in around 205 lbs. Along with his size he has some athletic gifts. He wont break any speed records at the NFL Combine, but he has more than enough speed to cover the top end. He has quick twitch ability and shows that with his remarkable change of direction speed.

Bubba Bolden Miami Safety

Miami Safety Bubba Bolden (21).

During his high school years he showed exceptional play making ability and used his length to his advantage. I don’t know why, but I picture him as a small Kawhi Leonard at safety. Last year he had 4 fumbles forced and 1 INT along with 4 passes defensed. See his full stats and bio at the Hurricanes page.

Lastly, he is versatile. Bubba Bolden has played deep safety, in the box, and in the slot effectively. He is also known for his special teams ability.

Bubba Bolden Weaknesses

I see a few other scouting groups rave about Bold en’s tackling ability. This is where I have my biggest concern of all. Yes he recorded 74 tackles with 50 of them solo last year. While watching them I rarely see him wrap up and he likes to throw his shoulder at ball carriers. I see a multitude of plays where an NFL running back would have just bounced off of him and gained extra yards. I’d like to see some better form tackling or Hawk tackling out of him.

He can be overly aggressive at times. I notice him take bad angles sometimes and remove himself from plays. I’m sure NFL coaches would like to see more consistency as well. He will make a good play, but then make a mental error the following play. We only have his 2020 game film to go off of and I’d love to see him grow as a player in 2021. So just more reps and film would be insightful.

Final Thoughts on Bubba Bolden Scouting Report

Bolden is still very much on my watch list for the 2022 NFL Draft. As of now I’m redacting my firm stance that he is my safety 2, but he may end up back there by seasons end. I just want more reps from him to see if he continues to improve. If he does show an ability to continue getting better, it wouldn’t be far fetched to see him be a day 2 pick next April.

He has an opportunity to stand out with an early game against Alabama on national television as well as in October against Sam Howell, who we have going first overall in our way too early mock draft. I’m excited to see if he will make the most of these opportunities as they are good competition with NFL caliber talent.

Analyst for Bubba Bolden Scouting Report- Ken Noble