analysis: DT Conrad Bolston

After placing Johnny Jolly on injured reserve Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers bolstered the defensive tackle position today, signing Conrad Bolston. What can fans expect from the former Viking? Tim Yotter,'s Minnesota expert, and Tom Marino, a former NFL scout, chime in with their thoughts on Bolston.

Tim Yotter:
Bolston was considered one of the better undrafted free agents that the Vikings signed following the 2007 draft, but he wasn't going to see any real playing time with Pat Williams and Kevin Williams staying healthy.

Bolston spent the first 12 weeks on the practice squad. When Fred Evans was suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy, Bolston was elevated to the active roster but was made a game-day inactive in Week 13. Last week, he was active for the first time and produced one tackle and a forced fumble in limited playing time against the 49ers.

Bolston shows potential to develop into a backup role, much like Colin Cole did for the Vikings before the Packers grabbed him. However, with two Pro Bowl tackles in front of him and more experienced depth behind them, there wasn't enough room on the active roster to keep him around. He very likely would have been re-signed to the practice squad if he had cleared waivers.

Tom Marino: former NFL scout
Conrad was try hard guy with just adequate tools. He really wasn't much of a pass rusher (lacked hand use, much in the way of refinement or a closing burst). Better vs. the run than the pass.

I always thought he played with good effort and would classify him as an overachiever. I felt he had a tendency to get his pads up and like I said, he got stuck on blocks. Not a quick twitch athlete. More of a two-gap player. Strong guy who should be an adequate backup.

Todd Korth,
Bolston fills a need for depth at the defensive tackle position behind starters Ryan Pickett and Corey Williams. Colin Cole and now Jolly are out for the year, leaving first-round pick Justin Harrell and rookie Daniel Muir as the top backups. Both have played little this season. Bolston will challenge both for playing time, and have to work his way up the depth chart from the bottom.

Harrell received a lot of playing time against Oakland, especially in the second half, and had three tackles (all assists). The jury is still out on him. He is expected to get a lot of playing time in the next three games.

Muir was not activated against the Raiders, and has played in two games with no tackles.

Bolston has all the qualities to be another dirt-cheap, good find for Packers general manager Ted Thompson. If Bolston makes the most of his opportunity when he gets it, the defensive line will be that much better.

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