2013 San Francisco 49ers Training Camp Player to Watch: Anquan Boldin
The defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers have an interesting situation heading into training camp this season. Their perceived number on wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, is out for a while with a torn achilles and they are a bit thin at the position.
Thankfully, they were able to trade for their 2012 Super Bowl foe’s most sure-handed target and acquired Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens. Entering camp here soon, it will be imperative for Boldin to grasp the offense quickly and establish himself as not only their true number one option, but a leader and mentor to the younger guys.
Last season with the Ravens, Boldin caught 65 passes for 921 yards and four touchdowns. While he’s not the elite option he used to be, Boldin still enjoyed a very productive year especially in the playoffs.
It was Boldin’s experience that shone through in the postseason as quarterback Joe Flacco was able to use him as a security blanket on crucial third downs and at times where they needed a sure catch.
Now with San Francisco, training camp will be one of the most important camps he’s been to throughout his career. Chemistry with quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be the number one priority right away. I think that’s an aspect of the situation that is highly underrated.
A savvy veteran like Boldin will absolutely help the development of Kaepernick. To be able to have a tenured guy like him on the roster and still have as solid hands as ever, Kaepernick’s production and his value will continue to increase.
Other than Boldin, the 49ers have Mario Manningham as the next best thing in the receiving core. Boldin’s presence, like I said, will be greatly appreciated due to the lack of experience on that team. Watch for him to make a great impression not only on the coaches of course, but the younger talent at the position.