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Mile High Morning: Garett Bolles snubbed for 2021 Pro Bowl

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The Lead

The 2021 Pro Bowl rosters have been revealed, and so too have the Pro Bowl snubs.

The biggest one for the Broncos has to be Garett Bolles.

In his fourth NFL season, Bolles turned his reputation on its head and became one of the league's top tackles, perhaps the best in the conference. It got him a contract extension in November, but it did not get him to his first career Pro Bowl.

Bolles still had a spectacular season, though. He rated out as the third-best tackle in the league, according to Pro Football Focus; no AFC player graded out above him.

Still, his teammates have no doubt about the kind of year he's had.

"A great season," Dalton Risner said Monday. "We all know how the first three years went, and I don't think they were near as bad as everybody made them seem, but he's a first-round pick and there's a lot of expectations here in Denver. He worked through that and a lot of people didn't think that he was performing as he should, but he continued to work through that so well. This year, it's paid off. He's listened to [Offensive Line Coach] Mike Munchak, he's listened to his teammates, me and him have grown — I'm able to help him, he's able to help me — and he had a hell of a season. I think his contract shows that, and I'm so thankful for him and his family. And moving forward, I think a Pro Bowl would be awesome for Garett. I know that's a huge goal of mine, something that I am so badly after, and I would be just so dang proud to see his name on there."

Right tackle Elijah Wilkinson told me that he doesn't really buy into the narrative that Bolles has made some amazing leap in his play, but he noted that the mental aspect of his play has taken a step.

"Something that I see in him is his focus," Wilkinson said Monday. "His first couple years here, it was a lot for him. Football was relatively new; he hasn't really played that much football in his life, but he was learning. I think the more time that he had, the better he got. I think it shows, as everybody sees this season. He's learned more, he's seen a lot of defenses, he's played a lot of football, he's got more experience, so I think that helped him a lot and I think that's kind of the guy he's become. He's become a smart player, a veteran player that has a lot of experience out there and he can get the job done."

Below the Fold

ESPN's Mike Clay listed Bolles as his third-biggest snub, too. "The 20th overall pick in the 2017 draft sits ninth among offensive tackles in pass block win rate (92.7%) and his career-high 89.2 PFF grade ranks third among all tackles," Clay wrote. "Also a strong run blocker, the anchor of Denver's line is in the midst of an all-pro campaign."

After a career day with eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, Noah Fant earned special recognition from PFF on its Team of the Week at the FLEX position.

The Unclassifieds

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