Denver Broncos Unsung Heroes: Omar Bolden


This week’s unsung hero is coming off of a game in which he not only made a game changing play, but it was a play that deserve to be on the team highlights when the season’s over. He can play any position in the secondary and like we saw yesterday, he has proven himself to be a dangerous return man.  Without further ado, let’s read into this week’s unsung hero, Omar Bolden.

Here’s some stats on the 4th year Bronco

Name: Omar Bolden

Size: 5’10, 195 lbs

Age: 26

College: Arizona State

4th round pick in the  2012 NFL Draft by the Broncos

2015 Stats: 3 tackles

Career Stats: 49 tackles, one pass defensed

The Story: For Omar Bolden, his story has been one of adaptation and flexibility.  After being a highly touted

Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety Omar Bolden (31) during the first quarter of the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

cornerback and return man during most of his high school and college career, an ACL injury costed him his senior season at ASU and consequently, dropped his draft stock to the 4th round of the following year’s draft.  A talent player with a sketchy injury history, his selection was seen as a bit of a gamble for the Broncos.

The Broncos were coming off a season where their top two cornerbacks were talented, but were beginning to decline in their production.  The great Champ Bailey was nearing the end of his career and Andre Goodman, despite playing well for most of his time with the Broncos, was released shortly before the draft in 2012.

There was a legitimate question of how strong the depth in the secondary was at that time and it was important to find players that could strengthen that position.  The Bolden selection in that year’s draft signified someone that could potentially be a starter for the team, but his injury plagued college career left many skeptical about his pro prospects.  Although his career stats may not jump off the screen, Bolden’s value to the Broncos far exceeds the stat sheet.

Like many depth players, Bolden was asked to do many things and do them all well.  Despite losing out on a starting job the past four seasons, he has consistently found himself in an important role on special teams. Outside of David Bruton Jr., I’d be hard pressed to think of any other player that has had a larger impact on the coverage and return units than Bolden in his time with the Broncos.

Up until this season, Bolden has had the second most special teams tackles for the Broncos with 24. As a return man, he has averaged 33 yards per return which is first in the NFL for players with a minimum of 10 returns.  The biggest return of which came yesterday against the Colts, when he returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown to end the first half.

Defensively, he spent his rookie year at Cornerback before transitioning to the safety position the past three seasons.  Throughout his tenure in Denver, Bolden has either lined up or competed for a spot in all four positions in the secondary.

The most impressive thing about Bolden’s tenure with the Broncos has been his consistency.  He has only missed one game in his four year career and has appeared in all of the postseason games in the time span.

Even though his name is rarely mentioned with the likes of Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib and T.J Ward, Bolden has always been in the mix for a defensive job and is one of the most consistent special teams players the Broncos have had in a long time.  He’s an underrated player who will be scheduled to enter free agency after this season. I don’t think he makes big money on the free agent market, so hopefully he’s a player that the Broncos make an effort to re-sign.  He’s proven that his consistency and flexibility have gone a long way to the helping the Broncos the past four seasons. Hopefully he’ll re-sign with the team and continue that trend.