With Boldin In The Fold, Are The 49ers Any Better?

Anquan Boldin

By now everyone is well aware of the deal struck by the two Super Bowl XLVII rivals yesterday that sent Baltimore Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a 2013 6th round draft pick. The deal came on the heels of the announcement that the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks had acquired receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings for 3 draft picks, including a 2013 first rounder. It’s safe to say the NFC West just got a heck of a lot more interesting.

While the acquisition of Harvin adds an incredibly explosive option for young QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense, the addition of Boldin doesn’t seem to have addressed the needs of the 49ers offense. Harvin had been linked to the 49ers in recent weeks, and would have provided that deep threat and playmaking ability from the slot that the team needed. But it wasn’t meant to be, and the Seahawks saw fit to pony up their first pick this year in order to bring in the discontented Harvin.

Anquan Boldin showed the 49ers first hand in the Super Bowl that he’s still got some ability left in the tank, and there is no questioning that he can be a useful piece in the 49ers offense, but does he really make them that much better? A lot of that will hinge on what happens with number two TE Delanie Walker who is heading for free agency. Theoretically Boldin will take the place of Randy Moss on the depth chart, although he lacks the speed that even a mid-30′s version of Moss possesses.

So the question is, with Randy Moss moving on, and Delanie Walker as well, would Anquan Boldin and perhaps a rookie tight end like Zach Ertz from Stanford or Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame equal more than what Walker and Moss would? I have my doubts.

Boldin is a good receiver, and he can make difficult catches in coverage that many others would not be able to, but he seems like he’s just more of the same type of player as Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, only slower. My hope for the offseason was that they would add someone who could make some plays down the field and give Colin Kaepernick the option of throwing the deep ball more often, so either they don’t plan on utilizing that aspect of his skillset, or they have enough faith in A.J. Jenkins to fill that role despite being nonexistent in his rookie campaign.

The offseason is still young, and things may change, but right now I have to give this trade a crystal clear “meh.”

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