Michael Boulware, S
(6021, 220, 4.45-4.56) Florida State
Notes: Born 9/17/81 in Columbia, S.C. Brother of former FSU and Baltimore Ravens defensive end Peter Boulware. Attended Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.) High School, playing football for coach Jimmy Noonan, where he played both offense and defense. Caught 56 passes for 1,028 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed 31 times for 362 yards and three touchdowns on offense as a senior. As a linebacker, cornerback and safety during his senior year, he recorded 91 tackles, 17 tackles-for-loss, 6 sacks, one interception, 3 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery for a touchdown and 3 blocked kicks. USA Today All-USA honorable mention and member of the Orlando Sentinel's All-South team. All-State selection as a senior. Named High School Sporting Report's South Carolina Player of the Year. Member of the South Carolina all-decade team. Rated Super Prep's No. 6 "skill athlete" and was listed as the No. 12 prospect (No. 2 linebacker) in the Atlantic Region by Prep Star, G&W's No. 5 ACC-area prospect and selected to play in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl.
College: Played in 9 games on special teams, recording 21 tackles and 2 forced fumbles as a true freshman in 2000; missed two games with a sprained ankle. Moved into the starting lineup at strong-side linebacker in 2001; finished fourth on the team with 81 tackles, including 6 TFL, 2 fumble recoveries, one fumble recovery, 3 interceptions and 4 pass breakups. All-ACC second-team choice in 2002; finished second on the team with a career-high 127 tackles, 4 TFL, one sack, 3 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 2 interceptions and 7 PBU. Underwent arthroscopic (right) shoulder surgery during 2003 spring drills, scuttling plans to move him to strong safety. Returned to earn All-ACC first-team honors, Academic All-ACC and AP All-American third-team selection in 2003; started every game at strong-side linebacker, served as defensive team captain, led the team with 111 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4 TFL, 4 PBU and one forced fumble. Was a member of FSU's Student Athletic Advisory Council. A sports management major.
Pre-draft workout numbers: Weighed in at 6021, 227 pounds; ran between 4.45 and 4.48 in the 40; 3.92 short shuttle, 6.52 three-cone drill, 39 ½-inch vertical jump, 10'2" broad jump and did 15 reps at 225 pounds. Also posted 315-pound bench press, 300-pound power clean, 34-inch arm length and 8 ½-inch hands. Left-handed.
Pro: Second-round draft choice (No. 53 overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in 2004. Started 4 of 16 games as a rookie in 2004; finished with 63 tackles, 5 interceptions, one sack and one pass breakup. Started all 16 games in 2005; recorded 73 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 sacks and 5 PBU. Lost his starting job during the 2006 season, starting 8 of 16 games played; finished with 39 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 PBU. Was traded to the Houston Texans in September for defensive end Jason Babin. Played mostly on special teams in 16 games with the Texans; compiling 11 tackles on defense and 2 PBU. Signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings as an unrestricted free agent on March 20, 2008.
Positives: Talented athlete with near-prototype size, speed and measureables. Has a long, rangy frame and is fast and fluid. Adequate instincts and awareness. Can lock up on tight ends and running backs in coverage. Good speed, pursuit and range. Can get to the deep third in Cover-2 zone schemes. Good hands and ball skills. Capable tackler. Can blitz effectively. Good special teams ability.
Negatives: Gets caught out of position at times and will bite on play-action passes. A split-second slow reacting at times. Misses some tackles and isn't always that physical. Has not been completely healthy the past two seasons.
Summary: Boulware will serve as a backup safety and also play on special teams. The Vikings now have Darren Sharper and Madieu Williams as their starting safeties; Boulware and Eric Frampton are the backups.
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