INDIANAPOLIS -- When Garett Bolles ran a 4.95 40-yard dash Thursday, it opened eyes. As left tackles go, few match his athleticism or unlikely rise as a top prospect.
Bolles played football and lacrosse growing up, but couldn't avoid trouble. As a teenager, he was booted out of multiple schools. Drug use became normal. He landed in jail. His home life a mess, Bolles lacked direction and motivation. His lacrosse coach Greg Freeman and his wife Emily took in Bolles in a story loosely resembling the plot of the "The Blind Side" with NFL tackle Michael Oher.
Bolles worked in the garage door repair business with Freeman. With structure came hope. Bolles served an LDS Church mission in Colorado Springs, where his strong faith became instilled.
"I love Colorado. I have a heart there because those are the people I taught on my mission," Bolles told Denver7. "If I end up going there, I'd be just fine."
Several teams covet Bolles, who is considered one of the draft's best tackles. He met with the Broncos. They could go in a number of directions with the 20th overall pick, but many mocks have them selecting Bolles or Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramcyzk, who is limited at the combine with three months of recovery remaining following hip surgery.
Bolles has microwaved his development. He entered Snow College in Utah as a defensive lineman, switched sides and dominated. At Utah, he started one year, earning first-team All-Pac 12 recognition. He brings quick feet, and maturity gained from his dark past.
"I just really want to see what type of man I am. I have a plan, I have a mission. When you become a husband and you become a father, you have to sort of grow up and you have to become the person you want to be. And I plan to do whatever it takes," Bolles said. "And I don’t even know the old Garett, in case you guys were wondering."
At least not off the field. Between the lines, Bolles brings intensity. He is a mauler, someone who plays with violent intentions. He believes he can start for an NFL team as a rookie -- "They are not drafting me to sit on the bench" -- and brings swagger that stands out in an event with elite athletes.
"I want to put people in the dirt. And that's what I am here for. As an offensive lineman, you want to be the nasty (*****) you can be. Whoever is front of me, I want to drive them in the dirt," Bolles said. "I want to put people in the dirt. And that’s what I’m here for. So I’m just going to try to be that every single day. And when I come off the field, I love my family. I have learned how to turn the switch and go back to the new Garett."