Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6’1”/ 217 lbs.
Age: 29 / Experience: 8
College: Florida State
Anquan Boldin is the type of player Ravens’ fans have been waiting for. He is hands-down the biggest name receiver the Ravens have ever had, and he should provide the team with the spark they need to take their offense to the next level. Boldin spent his first seven seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals playing alongside Larry Fitzgerald. He was the No.2 receiver behind Fitzgerald and was often overshadowed by him as well. When Boldin is healthy, though, his numbers are as consistent as any receiver in the NFL. He has averaged about 85 receptions, 1,100 yards and six touchdowns per season in his seven seasons in the league. In Arizona, Boldin was more of the reliable, consistent, yards after catch, not-afraid-to-go-over-the-middle receiver while Fitzgerald was the touchdown highlight reel. This isn’t saying that Boldin can’t be that guy, but he’s just never had the chance to be.
2010 Outlook: The acquisition of Boldin certainly makes him the Ravens No. 1 receiver ahead of Derrick Mason. Boldin has all the attributes to finally be a No. 1 receiver on a team that desperately needs one. He’s a proven, physical, strong, consistent receiver that will instantly make the Ravens a better offensive team. Boldin hasn’t been quite the touchdown threat that he could be, but that’s mostly because he played behind touchdown machine Fitzgerald for most of his career. But Flacco will surely be looking to Boldin to score touchdowns this season, and Boldin will be more than ready to produce. The only downfall with Boldin is that he has been injury-prone throughout his career. It doesn’t look as if he has any lingering injuries right now, but let’s hope it stays that way for the entire season. If he does stay healthy, he should easily reach 1,000 yards, 90 receptions and close to double digit touchdowns.
Another interesting tidbit about Boldin is that Ozzie Newsome had the chance to draft Boldin in the 2003, but passed on him mostly because of a fairly slow 4.71-second 40-yard dash time. Newsome recently admitted that he misevaluated Boldin and didn’t take into account the intangibles that have made Boldin one of the top receivers in the league. I’m sure Newsome was glad to have the chance to sign Boldin this past offseason and make good on his rare drafting mistake.
Submitted by Steve Giles