The San Francisco 49ers have signed Victor Bolden to a free agent deal after he went undrafted in the 2017 NFL draft.
I'm a 49er! I want to thank the 49er organization for believing in me and everyone whose gotten me to this point. pic.twitter.com/8PeN2ZAHOo— Victor Bolden (@vbolden6era) April 29, 2017
Overlooked and underrated have been two words of significance surrounding former Oregon State wideout Victor Bolden Jr., drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, who may have found themselves a gem. Primarily a slot receiver, Bolden is electric, gifted with second to none speed and unmatched athleticism, both essential elements in today’s NFL. With one of the most illustrious in their rich history, Bolden’s tenure in Corvallis put the Beavers back on the map, resulting in a highly decorated resume fit for the next level. With what I call the “three As” in his all-around game, Bolden’s acceleration, agility, and awareness deem him an immediate threat.
While a bit undersized at 5’9”, many defensive backs are projected to have their way with him, as most are over 6’0”. Having said that, Bolden’s leaping ability somewhat makes up for that particular hindrance. In addition, his elusiveness and lethal spin move create enough separation, ultimately providing Bolden. with space to brake the ankles of an entire secondary.
Summarily dictating his overall on-field demeanor is fearlessness, as Bolden is not afraid to go over the middle, able to elude hits, but always willing to take a shot if necessary. In San Francisco, he will most likely be used as a third option, but a first when it comes to leadership. While at Oregon State, Bolden was the face and further identity of the Beavers’ offense. Always a spark plug, galvanizing teammates and coaches, Bolden is adroit to say the least when evaluating his potential command of the 49ers’ offense.
Although listed as a receiver, Bolden is a duel threat, as he will make a profound contribution in both the return and running game. He immediately burst onto the scene as a freshman, hauling in six passes for 62 yards, averaging 10.3 yards per catch, while also rushing for 95 yards on 12 attempts and a touchdown, averaging 7.9 yards per carry. The freshman sensation further put his versatility on full display as a return man, having returned 58 kicks for 1198 yards, and a touchdown, averaging 20.7 yards per return.
Bolden truly made his name in 2014 as a sophomore, putting forth a season for the ages, in which he showed out for those in Reser Stadium, the city of Corvallis, and throughout the nation. Bolden’s numbers in all three positions played elevated, as the former Beaver caught 72 passes for 798 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 11.1 yards per reception. While earning more playing time in the running game, he posted 118 yards on 19 attempts, averaging 6.2 per carry. However, Bolden did not return any kicks his sophomore season, but returned just four punts for 44 yards.
While already invigorated into the offense, 2015 and 2016 proved to be the years it ran through Bolden, expected to be the Beavers’ go to option. In addition to 185 yards rushing on 36 attempts, and an average of 5.1 yards per carry, Bolden also posted 461 receiving yards on 46 receptions along with three touchdowns, averaging 10 yards per reception as a junior. He also returned 23 kicks for 580 yards, averaging 25.2 per return as well as a punt for a 78 yard score.
As a senior, Bolden caught 46 passes for 542 yards, averaging 11.8 yards per catch and two touchdowns. He also ran for 329 yards on 28 attempts and two touchdowns, averaging 11.8 yards per carry. Bolden’s numbers as a return man increased, as he returned 27 kicks for 642 yards, averaging 23.8 yards per return. Furthermore, Bolden also returned 14 punts for 64 yards.
Highly comparable to Bolden in terms of versatility is that of former Michigan swiss army knife Jabrill Peppers, also a rare athlete whose talent speaks for itself. Nevertheless, Bolden can do it all, giving the 49ers all the reasons in the world to have selected him in this year’s draft. As a pro, Bolden’s game will likely resemble both Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks and Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots, two of football’s best slot receivers, as they were also college standouts and questionable draft picks.
Bolden is a freakish athlete and student of the game, able to start immediately come the 2017 season. Staying all four years at Oregon State proved to be his best decision, as Bolden. will be sure to take his veteran play and leadership qualities to the pros, hopefully resulting in him being the San Francisco 49ers next productive NFL wideout. He is a product of a distinguished tree of receivers, all which have excelled professionally, consisting of Chad Johnson, Brandin Cooks, Markus Wheaton, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.