The most talked-about positional group for the Detroit Lions entering the 2021 NFL regular season will undoubtedly be their wide receiver corps. Where the team seems to see hope, most on the outside looking in seems to see despair.
That after the new regime in Detroit opted to part ways with most of their receiver corps from last season. Gone are names like Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, and Jamal Agnew. And in their place, the Lions signed numerous veteran free agents to one-year, prove-it deals.
Refusing to address the team’s most pressing need with any of their top four selections in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, the new Detroit brass opted to wait until day three to select USC wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round.
The mid-round selection will now join a Lions’ receiver corps that includes names like Tyrell Williams, Kalif Raymond, Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, Geronimo Allison, and Damion Ratley.
Without the presence of a known commodity at the position, Detroit is banking on some of these unproven receivers separating themselves from the pack this summer and earning meaningful roles to help support their new quarterback under center, Jared Goff.
And so far this offseason, there is a wideout that seems to be doing so. And that’s veteran Victor Bolden. The 26-year old has been turning heads in this new offense headed up by Lions’ first-year offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.
“Vic’s been making some incredible catches, just away from his body, and for being a smaller guy he’s got incredible hands. When we throw (routes on air) and we’re throwing individual routes, he stands out as one of those guys who’s going to be in the right spot at the right time.”
The emphasis being on “smaller guy” from Boyle’s above quote as Bolden only measures 5-foot-8 and 178-pounds. So his impact would primarily be out of the slot, a role Amendola and Agnew have left vacant.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2017. Bolden latched on with the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie. He played a total of 15 games in the NFL over his first two seasons. Bolden has been a member of the Lions’ practice squad since December of 2019.
During his senior year in college, Bolden showcased his talents as an overall playmaker. He registered 46 receptions for 542 yards and two touchdowns through the air for the Beavers in 2016.
Bolden also had 28 rushing attempts for 329 yards and two more scores averaging a whopping 11.8 yards per carry. He flexed his versatility as a special teams returner, posting 27 kickoff returns and 14 punt returns that same year.
The Detroit Lions are desperately hoping someone emerges this summer as a legitimate receiving threat for Jared Goff in his first year in the Motor City. Perhaps that player will be Victor Bolden, making the most of the opportunity he’s been waiting nearly two years for in Motown.