The San Francisco 49ers fell just short of capturing a win in the Super Bowl last season, but fell to the Baltimore Ravens by a final score of 34-31. However, the 49ers aren’t looking to be one-year wonders in terms of their success and seem poised to be one of the best teams in the league once again for the 2013 NFL season.
They kept the majority of their core players, have a full off-season to build and scheme around Colin Kaepernick as their quarterback, and still have their elite defense in place, even adding some key players on that side of the ball. One key player they added to bolster their offense, though is wide receiver Anquan Boldin, formerly of the Ravens team that beat San Francisco in last year’s Super Bowl.
Boldin will give the young Kaepernick another reliable option to throw to this coming season, which will improve the offense’s and the quarterback’s performance. Three months prior to the season right now, though, there is talk that Bolding and Michael Crabtree are currently competing for the job as the team’s number one receiver.
With the Ravens last season, Boldin caught 65 balls on 112 targets, with only four drops, though. His receptions went for a total of 921 yards and four touchdowns on the year. Crabtree was much more productive, catching 85 passes on 126 targets for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. Moreover, he was targeted over 10 times in four of the seven regular season games with Kaepernick under center.
Though Boldin is a fantastic addition to this team and will serve as a reliable security blanket this season, Crabtree should remain the team’s number one option at receiver. Crabtree and Kaepernick have a stronger rapport with one another, first of all. Also, Crabtree is just entering his prime at 25 years old while the 32-year-old Boldin is on the downside of his career.
In all likelihood, Crabtree will have a bigger year than Boldin this season because he has developed into and is at a point in his career where he can make more plays than Boldin. Crabtree’s youth also makes him more valuable and important to the team’s future. Though both players will contribute to the 49ers offense, Crabtree should be the number one option.