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WR Anquan Boldin - Free Agent

6-1, 216Born: 10-3-1980College: Florida StateDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Ed Szczepanski, US Presswire

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Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
17 vs LA 63 0 0 0 8 5 71 1 0 13.1

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 17 vs LA (8 / 5 / 71 / 1 rec)

After 16 weeks of failed bubble screens to Boldin, his first target was -- wait for it -- a bubble screen that gained 1 yard. Boldin's second target was his statistical highlight of the game, although there wasn't much personal skill involved. Lined up outside the numbers of a twin left formation (which has been exceedingly rare for him during his San Francisco tenure) in 22 personnel (i.e., 2 running backs, 2 wide receivers, 1 tight end), Boldin ran a skinny post against Janoris Jenkins' man-to-man coverage. He got zero separation on his route, but Jenkins slipped on the Levi's Stadium turf at the top of it, so he was able to catch the pass and waltz 15 yards into the end zone for an easy touchdown. I'd mention his late fourth-quarter reception that will be included in all Blaine Gabbert highlight reels from here to eternity, but a desperation heave that Boldin just happened to be the recipient of shouldn't be construed as a reflection of his own ability or performance.

2015 Week 16 vs DET (5 / 5 / 27 / 0 rec)

Boldin was the target on five of Blaine Gabbert's first seven passes, but then disappeared for the final 50 minutes. His only target after the first quarter doesn't appear in the box score because the play was nullifed by defensive pass interference. The penalty that play was on cornerback Darius Slay, who happens to be the main reason for Boldin's disappearance. After Boldin's initial flurry, wherein he was defeating Detroit's other cornerbacks (and the occassional linebacker in zone), their defense adjusted by having Slay shadow Boldin on nearly all of his routes from the third drive on.

2015 Week 15 vs CIN (10 / 8 / 74 / 1 rec)

For whatever reason, 49ers coaches continue to view Boldin as being younger, faster, and more elusive after the catch than he actually is, which leads to things like "four bubble screens that go nowhere." Boldin's more sensible targets, meanwhile, led to all of his production, including his fourth-quarter touchdown. On that play, as was the case on most plays, Boldin was matched up against Leon Hall in the slot. He was able to evade Hall's weak jam attempt at five yards, got a yard or so of separation, and caught Gabbert's well-placed throw while falling to the ground in the end zone. Boldin's other big catch, a 29-yard catch and run in the third quarter, help set up San Francisco's other touchdown. He was left wide open on a 10-yard out route when Hall vacated his short zone responsibilities. After the catch, Boldin broke Adam Jones' tackle attempt along the sideline, and stumbled 12 more yards upfield to give the 49ers first down in the red zone. One final play worth noting is when Boldin was partially responsible for a third touchdown, that of the opponent. Once again in the slot, he caught a 5-yard out between two defenders, but defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who had dropped into coverage on a zone-blitz, was able to a) strip Boldin from behind after he turned upfield, b) recover the fumble, c) somehow not get touched down by Boldin, and d) return the fumble to San Francisco's 11-yard line.

2015 Week 14 vs CLE (3 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)

In perhaps the most surprising stat of the game considering his recent usage, Boldin's first unofficial target didn't come until midway through the third quarter. It resulted in a first down because of defensive pass interference. All three of Boldin's official targets came against soft coverage. On the last play of the third quarter, he beat Tramon Williams' off-man coverage for 14 yards. With about nine minutes left in the game, his next target fell incomplete when safety Donte Whitner jarred the ball loose before Boldin could secure it. Boldin's second reception (and final target) produced 8 yards on 3rd-and-17, this time against off-man coverage by second-year cornerback K'Waun Williams.

2015 Week 13 vs CHI (13 / 5 / 37 / 0 rec)

How does a player -- besides Davante Adams -- have only five receptions on 13 targets when only one of those targets was over 15 yards downfield? Well, the answer is a combination of tight coverage by Bears cornberacks and inaccurate passing by Blaine Gabbert: Three of eight incompletions resulted from the former, while five resulted from the latter. That said, 13 targets is 13 targets, so Boldin's role as San Francisco's go-to receiver in crucial situations remains unquestioned. That's especially the case given when he was targeted. In regulation, Gabbert threw the ball Boldin's way five times on 2nd-and-long and twice on 3rd down, one of which resulted in a first down inside the 5-yard line. And in overtime, Boldin was the target on all three passes preceding Torrey Smith's game-winner.

2015 Week 12 vs ARI (11 / 8 / 93 / 0 rec)

Working predominately out of the slot, almost all of Boldin's catches came on in-breaking routes, with six of them gaining 10 yards or more. He wasn't getting shadowed by any particular defender, and didn't really "beat" any of them so much as Gabbert consistently threw perfectly placed passes to him in air-tight coverage. That's why four of Boldin's receptions gained 1 yard or less after the catch, and his highest YAC of the game was only 9 yards.

2015 Week 11 vs SEA (7 / 5 / 93 / 0 rec)

Boldin was far more productive than you'd expect for someone who was limited in practice during the week and could be seen wearing sweatpants on the sideline to keep his hamstring warm during the game. Boldin's most valuable plays both came in the slot against nickel safety DeShawn Shead. On 3rd-and-1 in a two-minute drill at the end of the first half, Boldin caught a short pass and shed Shead's tackle attempt (pun intended) to gain 11 additional yards. In the fourth quarter, Boldin got open down the seam of Seattle's Cover-3, catching a 28-yard pass when Shead couldn't get to him in time.

2015 Week 7 vs SEA (7 / 3 / 39 / 0 rec)

Once again, Boldin was the most frequently targeted receiver. Once again, Kaepernick was able to connect with him on a deep pass (a 27-yard, back-shoulder pitch-and-catch). Other than that, Boldin spent the game watching passes either bounce at his feet or sail over his head. One troubling thing that doesn't show up in his stat line is that Boldin was rarely covered by Richard Sherman, so a better Kaepernick performance would have likely produced a big game for Boldin -- opportunity lost.

2015 Week 6 vs BAL (9 / 5 / 102 / 0 rec)

Given the kinds of targets he's been receiving the past few weeks, it's increasingly apparent that 49ers coaches don't believe Boldin's age is catching up to him. Once again, he and Kaepernick connected on a long pass, this time a deep post in which Boldin split Baltimore's zone coverage, and was able to get behind cornerback Jimmy Smith. Boldin's athleticism in the coaches' minds was also evident in the fact that three of his targets came on bubble screens. These weren't as successful, however, with only the first one more than a couple of yards, primarily because Boldin reversed field immediately, running clear across the field after catching the ball, and gaining 15 yards behind a convoy of blockers.

2015 Week 5 vs NYG (12 / 8 / 107 / 1 rec)

Boldin produced the above stat line despite not seeing his first target until four minutes into the second quarter. Most of the production that came from then on was due more to play design than Boldin's (diminishing) individual ability. His touchdown was the result of a legal pick play at the goal line. Both deep receptions involved Boldin beating backup defensive backs one-on-one: Craig Dahl and Trevin Wade. In other words, when he was being covered by Prince Amukamara or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he didn't produce much of anything. That said, Boldin does remain a preferred red zone option in this offense, especially with Vernon Davis out: Five of his 12 targets came in the red zone, including the entire set of downs preceding Phil Dawson's second quarter field goal.

2015 Week 4 vs GB (7 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)

The fact that Boldin's 7 targets only produced 3 receptions was not his fault. The first incompletion was thrown at his feet. The second was an interception where Kaepernick had all the time in the world (and has all the arm strength in the world), but still underthrew the deep ball into double-coverage. The third was on a flag route that Kaepernick overthrew 10 yards out of bounds. The fourth came on the next play, and looked almost identical. At this point, Boldin displayed what can only be called "negative body language." He would do so again later in the fourth quarter, when Kaepernick was sacked on 4th-and-4 in the red zone.

2015 Week 3 vs ARI (4 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

Boldin was the target of Kaepernick's second interception. He was "open," but Tyrann Mathieu was able to jump the route because the pass was telegraphed and weakly thrown. Boldin was also the target of Kaepernick's next two passes, both of which came resulted in completions against man-to-man coverage. The second was the more impressive of the two, with Boldin beating cornerback Jerraud Powers to the inside on a skinny post for a 14-yard gain. That said, getting only four targets under such favorable game script conditions is worrying.

2015 Week 2 vs PIT (10 / 6 / 60 / 1 rec)

Boldin had an uncharacteristically sloppy game. And with the game script tilted heavily toward passing, he also had a relatively underproductive one. As per usual, Boldin played the most snaps of any San Francisco wide receiver and ran the most routes. But, here's the thing: It was 50 routes, and 1.20 yards per route run is well below the NFL average for wide receivers (1.64). In other words, an average wide receiver would have had a much bigger game fantasy-wise given the same opportunities. Of course, Boldin was somewhat of his own worst enemy in this regard. Midway through the third quarter, he dropped a wide-open 20-yard pass, which would have given the 49ers first-and-goal at the Steelers' 8-yard line. Instead, the drive stalled and San Francisco turned it over on downs. Even before the game got out of hand, Boldin was bailed out by officials when, what looked like a fumble (and Steelers recovery) on San Francisco's first drive, was ruled an incompletion and upheld in review. If there's a bright side to Boldin's performance, it's that Kaepernick (once again) targeted him repeatedly in the red zone, including his final two targets of the game.

2015 Week 1 vs MIN (5 / 4 / 36 / 0 rec)

With their running game working so well, and the team preserving a lead for the entire second half, Boldin only had 5 targets, the first of which didn't come until there was 5:45 left in the second quarter. Not surprisingly, all of Boldin's targets were 15 yards downfield or shorter, and four of them came when he found the hole in a zone. He was also the primary target on a crucial third-and-1 in the foutrh quarter, which he successfully converted. Boldin's longest gain was a 15-yard in-route against cornerback Xavier Rhodes' man-to-man coverage, so at least Boldin can still win one-on-one matchups at 34 years old. Also not surprising, Boldin played 15 more snaps than the next-highest wideout because he's San Francisco's choice in one-receiver sets.

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Latest News

49ers | Anquan Boldin could return to 49ers (Sun Apr 24, 01:38 PM) - Free-agent WR Anquan Boldin (49ers) could be sought back by the San Francisco 49ers if head coach Chip Kelly is unimpressed with the wide receivers' performances this week at minicamp.

Our View: Boldin is not the same player he used to be, but he can at least give a team veteran depth. In 14 games last year with the 49ers, Boldin caught 69 passes for 789 yards and four touchdowns. That ranked him as the 43rd fantasy WR in 2015 in standard-scoring leagues. We can't see his numbers getting much better in 2016 if he's retained by the 49ers.
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