The 10th-best Arizona Cardinals draft pick ever: Anquan Boldin
Anquan Boldin’s career began on an interesting note when he was taken in the second round after WR Bryant Johnson (One of Arizona’s lesser-talked-about draft busts) in the 2003 draft.
The reason for that slide? His 40-yard dash time was a 4.7. Thank goodness Boldin lasted another round-as Boldin would make the Cardinals wish they’d taken him in the first round instead.
In his very first game as a pro, he set an NFL rookie record for yards in his first career game with 217 yards receiving and two touchdowns on the road against the Detroit Lions (yet they still lost the game). But it was an incredible performance that really showed that 31 other scouting departments got it oh so wrong.
Boldin also set the rookie receptions record that same season, with 101 catches. That stood almost twenty years when Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle broke it in the 2021 season (104 receptions).
A three-time Pro Bowler, he combined with Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston to form the fifth trio in NFL history to have 1,000 yards receiving in a single season in 2008. That coincided with the Cardinals’ miracle Super Bowl run (if it just could’ve lasted 2:37 longer).
What led to Boldin leaving Arizona started in the 2008 NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Everyone remembers Larry Fitzgerald’s three touchdowns and master class performance that day. Fitzgerald was the only one getting the targets for the most part- and for good reason.
Boldin was then seen on the sideline in a screaming match with then offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Boldin was upset about the targets- something that would spur him to walk after the 2009 season when he signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
He won his ring with Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII and played for San Francisco and Detroit before retiring.