Anquan Boldin has always been defined by his attitude. He runs angry after the catch. He aggressively fights to snag balls out of the air. He understands how to use his body to physically win against tight coverage. While he’s never been the fastest on the field, he has been the model for consistency based on his effort and physicality on each play. For this video, I tracked all 101 targets from 2016 and discussed the general trends of his game.
If you want a reliable receiver to move the chains on third-and-short or on the goal line, Boldin is your guy. Matt Stafford, in his one short year with the veteran, trusted him to convert the crucial third downs for the Lions. By my count, he had 41 of the Lions’ first downs and converted 20 of them on third down. Of those, 10 of them were on third-and-short.
Boldin is a free agent, and even though he’s already 36, there are still a few teams that I think he’d fit. The Baltimore Ravens are one. They drafted defense for the vast majority of their picks this year, so getting a wide receiver like Boldin could be useful for Flacco. The Kansas City Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin this offseason, and Boldin could serve as an underneath option opposite of Tyreek Hill. The final option could be the Minnesota Vikings. He could be their third or fourth wide receiver and could help Laquon Treadwell learn the nuances of the game.