NFL Draft expert projects Miami Hurricanes safety Bubba Bolden undervalued

Oct 16, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Safety Bubba Bolden was hindered by injuries throughout the majority of his three seasons with the Miami Hurricanes. At 6’3, 205 and with a 4.47 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, Bolden has the size and speed to succeed in the NFL. The NFL Draft projections for Bolden have dropped to 228th overall, in the seventh round.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports lists Bolden as one of 20 players he likes more than the NFL scouts do. In three seasons with the Miami Hurricanes. Bolden had 127 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss, two sacks, six pass breakups and five forced fumbles. Bolden was the 59th player nationally and seventh safety in the Class of 2017.

Bolden played in 23 games with Miami making 16 starts. A shoulder injury ended the season for Bolden after seven games last season. In his first season with Miami in 2019, Bolden suffered a season-ending ankle injury after playing in only five games. Bolden played 11 games in 2020, starting nine.

Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe who was once committed to Miami is another player on the Prisco list. Bolden has fallen significantly since he signed with USC out of high school. Bolden was suspended indefinitely by USC in 2018 before he transferred to Miami. Prisco profiled Bolden.

"Bubba Bolden, S, Miami“At times in his career he looked like a first-round pick. He has size and speed and the ability to chase down plays from the deep middle. He isn’t a great tackler, but the biggest knock has been injures. He suffered a shoulder injury last year that limited him to seven games. He’s also had some off-field issues.But the talent is there if he can stay healthy and stay focused.”"

There are a lot of questions about Bolden from beyond Prisco. When healthy, Bolden needs to be more consistent on the field. In his only full season in 2020, Bolden was named a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist and earned All-ACC, Second Team. Against Appalachian State and Michigan State in 2021, Bolden combined for 18 tackles.

As a late-round pick, Bolden is going to have to show he can play special teams. Training camp and the three preseason games will be critical for Bolden. The analysis by Prisco about Bolden’s tackling has been observed by other draft analysts. Bolden has proven he can make big plays, he needs more consistency.