Baltimore has become intoxicated with the possibility of bringing in Anquan Boldin for only a third round pick; and I see a lot of value in only losing a third rounder for a 3-time Pro Bowl receiver. On the other hand I have a lot of hesitations about signing him to a BIG, long term deal; something he is going to expect before he jumps on a flight to Charm City.
First of all, Boldin is not a spring chicken anymore, he will be 30 on October 3rd so he isn’t exactly the young stud that Joe Flacco is going to grow and develop with. Boldin has seven NFL seasons under his belt so he has developed into what he will become, and that may not be a bad thing….I just really want to see a young, stud receiver that Joe can create a connection with for the next 6-7 seasons.
Not only is Boldin going to be 30 this season but there is an awful lot of wear and tear on his 30 year old body. Boldin is a rugged, tough runner after the catch that has a tendency to take huge shots that have directly led to numerous injuries. And staying on the topic Boldin has had some serious problems staying on the field throughout his career; over the past three seasons he has missed 11 of his teams 48 regular season games.
Granted Boldin is a beast after the catch but he isn’t the deep threat that is going to stretch the field. Boldin is more of a catch a slant and gain 12 yards after the catch player than a burner that is going to catch a 56-yard touchdown by blowing past his defender down the sideline.
I have heard many people say the Ravens NEED a big wide receiver but Boldin doesn’t solve that problem, he is physical specimen at 6’1”, 217lbs. but he isn’t a huge red zone target that is going to catch the fade over a smaller defensive back.
People have criticized the Ravens receiving corps and said Boldin will be the answer to an obvious lack of talent; but his numbers are surprisingly similar to Derrick Mason.
Boldin and Mason have both averaged 12.8 yards per catch over their careers and in fact Mason averaged nearly 2-yards per catch more than Boldin in 2009.
As I mentioned Boldin has struggled to stay on the field while Mason refuses to come off of it. Actually Mason has played in 113 consecutive games or hasn’t missed a game in over 7 seasons! It is awfully tough for a receiver to help Joe develop if he isn’t on the field and if you want to say anything about Derrick it is that he WILL be on the field.
Now there are some areas where Boldin is the superior receiver including and perhaps most importantly he is 6 years younger. Boldin is also 3” taller, is much more dangerous after the catch, and gets in the end zone 2 more times per season on average. But Boldin has had the opportunity to lineup along side Larry Firtzgerald leaving him open an awful lot while Derrick has had……ummm…….Mark Clayton taking attention away from him.
There certainly are some things that make Boldin appealing but I just hope that fans can look at everything objectively. Boldin is a good receiver and has flourished in a receiver friendly offense in Arizona but he isn’t a great receiver by any means although he will want to get paid like a great receiver.
If the Ravens are going to spend a lot of money on a stud wide receiver it should be Brandon Marshall, but that’s a story for another day.