Why Anquan Boldin Will Have His Best Season as a Raven

June 27, 2012 | Jeffrey Gilley

While I don’t think Anquan Boldin will have his best season in terms of statistics, I do think he will have a tremendous overall impact on the Ravens offense.

Anquan Boldin came to the Baltimore Ravens in March of 2010.  Since pairing with Joe Flacco, Boldin has been productive, but not spectacular.  Boldin has averaged 862 receiving yards and five touchdowns in his two seasons with the Ravens.

Boldin is one of my favorite players and brings a tremendous amount of leadership and physicality to the offense.  But, Boldin has lost some speed and is no longer as effective on the outside as he was in Arizona.  I recognize the Ravens don’t have Larry Fitzgerald but Boldin has still lost a step.

With that in mind, I really like the addition of Jacoby Jones.  Jones stands at 6 feet 2 inches and claims he can run a 4.24 forty-yard dash.

The addition of Jones will help Anquan Boldin the most.  This is because Boldin now lacks the speed that is needed to make a significant impact on the outside.  Don’t get me wrong, Boldin is still a great player and I enjoy watching him play.  But, as you saw in the Cardinals game from week eight, Boldin is now forced to make spectacular catches in order to make an impact on the outside.

Having Jones lets the Ravens put two speedsters in Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones on the outside while Boldin works on the inside where he is still deadly.

Cornerbacks and safeties will have to respect the speed Jones and Smith possess and therefore, will be forced to play ten or more yards off the line of scrimmage.  Smith and Jones possess so much speed in fact that often times, safeties will have to stay back to help cover them incase they go deep which the one thing all a defenses wants to prevent.

Boldin’s presence on the inside will attract the attention of linebackers, safeties in the box, and nickel cornerbacks.  Thus, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, the Ravens spectacular tight end duo will have more room to work and can have more of an impact.

By this point in the article, you have probably forgotten about Ray Rice coming out of the backfield.  Rice is arguably the best receiving back in the league and has made a significant impact in the passing game against some of the NFL’s best defenses.

Will Boldin have a 1,000-yard season?  It is unlikely.  But with the addition of Jacoby Jones and the maturation of Torrey Smith and other receivers like Tandon Doss, the Ravens could do some special things on offense this upcoming season.