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Braylon Edwards vs Anquan Boldin Case Study.

There is much, much debate as to who would be the player the Giants should target between Braylon Edwards and Anquan Boldin so I decided to do a case study (I”ll assume that they’ll cost the same in financial committment and in pick compensation)

Let’s start with the basics:


Anquan Boldlin

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 217
Age: 28 (Birth date: 10/3/1980)
Injury History: sinus/concussions 2008. Hamstring 2008. Knee Bone Bruise last year. The list Goes on and on and on.

Games played in his 7 year career: 16, 9, 14, 16, 12, 12.

can’t question his toughness, but does seem to have nagging injuries.

Attitue History:

Has repeatedly demanded for a trade.

Fought with Todd Haley (overblown, but happened. Bad timing with that more than anything)

Braylon Edwards

Height: 6-3
Weight: 215
Age: 26 (2/21/83)

Injury History: Not much. Missed 6 games in 2005. Has played in EVERY game the past three years.

Attitude History: Has said that something like if “Cleveland hates me, I hate them”

hasn’t publicy requested a trade like Bodlin, but neither Edwards nor Boldin can completetly escape the Diva Problem.


Advantage Edwards

Edwards is taller, faster, and less injury prone, as well as 2.5 years younger. There is no question the advantage lies with Edwards here.

Complementary parts

Before I get into the statistics for each player I wanted to preface that by seeing what each player had to work with on their teams.

I won’t even go though player by player, obviously Boldin has more to work with, but both players have gone through QB drama since they entered the league, the differernce is Boldin’s has leveled off, while Edwards is still going through that.


Career averages:


Games played 13.3 a year. Receptions: 83 a year. 1,082 a year. 6.67 Touchdowns a year. 12.9 yards per reception for a career. 2 fumbles a year.

Last year: 89 receptions, 1038 yards, 11.7 yards per catch, 11 Touchdowns. 4 Fumbles (3 lost)

Best year: 2005

14 games played. 102 receptions, 1402 yards, 13.7 yards per catch, 7 touchdowns.

Career Totals. Games 82. receptions: 502. Yards. 6,496. 40 TD. 12.9 yards per reception. 13 fumbles, 9 lost. 197 career rushing yards.

Braylon Edwards

Games played:

14.5 games per year. 57 receptions per year. 889 yards per year. 7 touchdowns per year. Less than 1 fumble per year. 15.6 yards per reception.

Last year: 55 receptions, 873 yards, 15.9 yards per reception, 3 touchdowns

Best year: 80 receptions, 1,289 yards, 16.1 yards a catch, 16 touchdowns 3 fumbles 2 lost (only fumbles of his career)

career totals: 228 receptions, 3558 yards, 15.6 yards a reception, 28 touchdowns. 3 fumbles 2 lost


To me it’s not really a tough call at all.

With Anquan Boldin you know what you’re getting. You’re getting a tough physical competitor who will go over the middle of the field and excels after the catch. Boldin needs the ball thrown to him a lot and he’s at his best replacing a running game, rather than supplementing it (IDEAL west coast offense player).

Bodlin has a few questions, first he’ll be 29 this year, that’s not young. Will his age be a factor, especially considering his injury history?

Second is he a True Number 1 WR?

People say “look what he did before Fitzgerald arrived”

That was ONE year. Can you really make a judgement either way? In that year he had 1,377 yards receiving, 8 touchdowns and a 102 receptoins, But you have to remember that those numbers might be inflated because at that time there weren’t many offensive threats on the team. So while those are good numbers it is Inconclusive whether or not he can be a number one WR, based on one year, in my opinion.

But there is no questioning Boldin’s toughness or consistency.

Now, for Edwards, He’s younger. He won’t turn 27 until next year and he’s entering his prime. They say it takes a WR Three years to get acclimated to the NFL.

Well in Edwards third year he went off with 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Edwars is taller, faster, just more athletic than Anquan Boldin is at all.

But Edwards also has a couple of questions:

First, will he concentrate and catch the ball all season?

Even in two years ago when he went off-he still dropped a lot of passes.

Second, Is he a Diva?

I think he has diva characteristics for sure.

But Boldin can only Dream of being what Edwards CAN be.

Braylon Edwards is an athletic freak, you have to be to be drafted third overall in a draft.

What Edwards CAN BE is matched by FEW in the league. He’s 6-3, and Fast. He averages 15.6 yards per reception.

He’s had at least 873 yards the past three years, which is still more than what the Giants could muster up last year.

And for the New York Giants, the solution, to me is simple.

Take the younger guy, with more upside who can stretch the field.

Not the guy who is going to be 29 this year, and who has missed 8 games the past two seasons for a variety of injuries.

Take the guy who played in Ann Harbor and grew up in Michigcan, where I know he can handle laying in tough conditions.

Not the guy who played at Florida State, and now on the team that falls apart when it’s below 70 or outside.

Take the guy who with the THREAT of catching the deep pass will open up the running game the Giants want to rely on.

Not the guy who wants to catch the ball 6 yards down field and make something happen.

Take the guy who not only has more ability, but also fits the system and does better what the Giants lack, a tall receiver who can spread the field to let Jacobs pound the ball.

Take the guy who is a freak of nature and hope that Tom Coughlin and his ability to work on fundamemtnals to help Edwards with his concentration/catching issues, much like he did Tiki Barber.

I think the Eagles might think the opposite that Boldlin would complement DeSean Jackson and Curti’s speed as well as Westbrooks shiftiness, and I think Boldin is a great player, but for the Giants, I think Edwards is a better fit.

I’ve made my case, what do you guys think?

As always if you take the time to comment I’ll take the time to respond.

here are two other articles I wrote elsewhere maybe you’re interested in:

Can I beat Kiper and McShay in predicting the 1st round of the draft?

Find out.

Is Mr. intangibles, Derek Jeter a Hall of famer without the intangibles?

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4 Responses to “Braylon Edwards vs Anquan Boldin Case Study.”

  1. Howard says:

    Hey Jesse,

    A friend of mine and I were having this exact conversation this morning after reading that the Cards were willing to deal Boldin.
    My initial reaction was that Boldin is the guy to go after because while Edwards can be great, I think Boldin already is great. But I think you bring up a few points that make the argument far more difficult.

    To me the two biggest are the injury history and the age factor. Boldin will be 29 this year and in football years, that is on the North side of his top productivity. He also hasn’t played a full season in forever, and has missed an average of 4+ games every year. That’s a lot of games to be relying on Steve Smith as your #1 in the NFC East.

    The Eagles can better afford to deal with those 4 missed games because Jackson is a stud in the making and Westbrook is just plain great.

    But on the Giants, Smith is more of a perfect possession receiver/3rd down receiver but not a breakaway stud and Jacobs is very good but not nearly as dynamic as Westbrook.

    The drops are a huge concern with Edwards but here’s my take on it.

    In 2007, when Edwards had his best year, the Browns were 10-6 and led by a very good Derek Anderson. It’s my take that when the team was good and the games meant a lot, Edwards had a better level on concentration that the two years that were around 2007 where the Browns went 4-12 and had QB issues.

    In NY, Eli is the man and everyone knows that. I’m not sure Eli is ever going to be Joe Montana but he is a very very good QB in this league. The Giants running game is very very good with Jacobs and Bradshaw and they have good complementary players like Smith and Boss who are team type of guys (unlike Plax and Shockey).

    So in a division where every game means something and the intensity is there on every play of virtually every game, I think Edwards will perform more like 2007 than like ’06 or ’08.

    On the Giants, Edwards could be good for 85+ catches, 1100+ yards and 10+ TD’s almost every year and he’s only 27.

    To me combine that with the downfield threat that Boldin is not and I think Edwards has to be the target. Even if you have to give up a 1 and a 3 to get him.

    They would still have 2, #2’s and another #3 so they would still be able to get good talent in the draft but they won’t be able to draft Braylon Edwards with the 29th pick. We don’t even know if Michael Crabtree can turn into Edwards and he’s going in the top 7.

    So you’ve convinced me. Edwards is the way to go.


  2. Jason C. says:

    To me the bottom line is that neither is worth giving up any combination of picks including a first rounder. I wouldn’t even trade my first round pick straight up for either of these guys. Now if we’re closer to a 2 and a 4/5 I’d be a bit more inclined to pull the trigger. Also I still would prefer Ocho Cinco, as I feel his game fits into what we need from a No. 1 WR more so then either of these two guys.

  3. I like Ocho Cinco too. He’s pretty good, and he won’t cost much. but I don’t think the Giants are intersted in him.

    A 1st and a third is probably crazy, but the question is how bad do the Giants Need Edwards or Boldin. If they weren’t a legetimate Superbowl contender it’d be no chance, but they probably are.

    Hopefully they settle on a 2nd and a third and a player or something.

    Thanks for the input.

  4. Tim says:

    “I wouldn’t even trade my first round pick straight up for either of these guys.”
    Really? So you would rather have Kenny Britt or Hakeem Nicks going into the year than Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards? Two proven WR’s in this league?

    And you’d also have 85, who is on the wrong side of 30 and a diva, than either of these younger talents? Glad Reese runs the Giants.

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