#68, Conrad Bolston, DT
(6033, 305, 5.12-5.35) Maryland
Personal: Born Jan. 9, 1985. Parents are Norman and Adria Bolston. A 2003 graduate of St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C., he was a two-way starter at both offensive tackle and defensive tackle. He averaged close to 85 snaps per game while playing both ways, led his team in tackles and sacks and was the top player on a defense that held the opposition to an average of 14.5 points per game. As a junior, he recorded 55 tackles, 14 sacks and caused 2 fumbles. He was also an outstanding wrestler who was 48-4 with 44 pins as a junior. Bolston considered at least 14 scholarship offers, including Ohio State, Boston College, Florida, Tennessee and Penn State, among others, but signed with the Terrapins with his high school coach as a senior being former Maryland offensive line coach Elliot Uzelac. Coming out of high school, he weighed about 265 pounds, ran a 4.9 forty, bench-pressed 360 pounds, squatted 560, recorded a 27-inch vertical jump and had a 1060 on his SATs. He enjoys reading science fiction.
College: Saw limited action but played in nine games as a freshman (2003), finishing with 7 tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss and one sack. Started 10 of 11 games in 2004, with 27 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks and 1 pass deflection. Started all 11 games in 2005; recorded 38 tackles 5.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In 2006, he started 9 of 13 games, with 35 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks and one PBU. He majored in environmental science and policy-environmental politics. After his playing days are over, he plans to pursue his masters degree in environmental policy.
An Iron Terp with (at 303 pounds) the second-highest strength index on the team – a measure of pound-for-pound strength. In workouts prior to the draft, he measured 6032-6035 and weighed in at 300 to 305 pounds. He did 30 reps at 225 pounds. He was timed at 1.85 10-yard dash, 3.01 20-yard dash, 5.22-5.28 40-yard dash, 4.64 20-yard shuttle and 7.63 3-cone drill. He recorded a 30” vertical jump and an 8’-6” broad jump.
Pro: Bolston was one of 28 pre-draft visitors to Winter Park prior to the 2007 NFL Draft. He reportedly had offers from a dozen teams, including the Jets, Redskins, 49ers and Browns, but was said to have gotten a “draftee level” contract to sign as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Vikings.
Positives: A strong, powerful player with good initial quickness off the snap. Can split blockers and be disruptive at times. Has long arms, a good-sized frame and potential to get a little bigger. Generally plays with good leverage and can be stout at the point of attack. Shows some bull-rush ability to pressure up the middle. Improving technique and hand use. Willing to work hard to get better. Tough, durable and dependable player who has never had any off-the-field issues.
Negatives: Inconsistent motor and isn’t much of a pass rusher. He lacks top-end closing speed, athleticism or finesse. Doesn’t always shed blocks quickly. Still needs improvement in overall strength, hand use in shedding blocks and flexibility.
Summary: Does not possess any truly outstanding physical characteristic. But he does show a good initial burst off the ball, which can be effective in the one-gap scheme the Vikings run. If he can develop more to complement that aspect of his game, he could eventually develop into a rotational contributor inside. At this point, he either wins at the snap or it’s over.
What they said:
“Bolston has good size, strength and long arms but hasn't put it all together, but he is an intriguing free-agent prospect. With improved aggressiveness, leverage and hand use, he could develop into a solid two-gap starter. That's a long shot.” – The WarRoom
“Flashing skills the past three years, Bolston has the size and strength to be a two-gap lineman. Must learn to play at a consistently high level to make a roster.” – SI.com
“[The NFL player I admire most is Cornelius Griffin], because of the way he plays with his hands. He’s a force against the run, destroys double teams, and collapses pockets. I try to share those same attributes.” – Bolston
“Bolston should have a solid chance to make the roster or at least the practice squad.” – Tim Yotter, Viking Update