5-11/220 Wake Forest
Pros: Physical receiver that has nice hands and does a good job running after the catch, because of his combo of physicality and quickness. Very effective on screens. Willing, physical blocker despite lack of size. Has good speed to stretch defenses. Has good body control and adjusts well to the ball in the air. Has some experience as a punt returner.
Cons: Not a true burner as far as deep speed. Hasn't proved he's effective on other routes besides screens. Needs to improve his route- running abilities.
Overview: Yes, he is the younger brother of Anquan Boldin, and the two have a very similar style, which is very physical, although D.J. isn't blessed with Anquan's size. He is a one-year starter that basically filled the role that Kenny Moore did last year, which is run a lot of screens and reverses and try to get their playmakers out in space. But Boldin has more upside than Moore did (who was a 5th round pick with the Lions a year ago). Sat out 2006 for academic reasons.
NFL Forecast: He is one of those players that I could see coming out of nowhere and becoming an impact player in the league a lot like Wes Welker down the road. I think he's an ideal candidate for a slot receiver, and if he works as hard as his brother has over the years, he'll be able to stick at the next level. I like his upside, and if he can improve his route- running abilities, he could be a dangerous No. 3 receiver. Probably not going to be a starter, but in the right offense could be an impact third option on the team. Because of his ability after the catch, I believe he has potential as a punt returner, despite only returning a total of 8 in his collegiate career. He'll have to show early on that he can contribute on special teams, either as a returner or on coverage, since it's probably going to take him a few years before he starts to impact on offense. But let's not forget that Welker also was just a special teams guy for two seasons before he really started to impact on offense.
ATL Forecast: Boldin could be a valuable addition to depth for the Falcons. It's doubtful that he'd surpass Douglas on the depth chart, but could fill the same niche that Douglas currently does in Atlanta if/when in the future Douglas assumes a more important role on offense as a starter. Probably would only be a No. 4 receiver and special teams guy at best here in Atlanta, but could provide an occasional spark of big plays.
Value: Boldin is worth a late round pick for a team looking for help in the slot and potentially a boost to their special teams as well. Probably anything more than a late sixth would be a reach.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.