Nick Bolton, University of Missouri
Last year, we wanted the Saints to draft now Ravens’ linebacker Patrick Queen. That just goes to show you how a first-round linebacker can make an impact. Bolton is a junior that is waiving his senior year to enter the draft in 2021.
Bolton played 10 games in 2020 for Missouri. He finished with 95 tackles (8.0 for a loss), 2.0 sacks, five passes defended, and one fumble recovery. Bolton has pretty much kept similar statistics from his freshman to his junior year.
He did add two interceptions in his sophomore year though. Bolton is a special type of linebacker. He excels in run-stopping as well as pass protection. He is the ideal linebacker to complement Demario Davis on the other side of the middle.
He could end up being the feature role in this defense. He has some decision-making capabilities that can be improved, but the coaches can teach him how to be a leader. Overall, Bolton would be the perfect young player to take this defense to the next level alongside Davis.