By Kevin York
We knew the NFC West was going to be a slugfest this year between San Francisco and Seattle. In the last week both teams made moves to upgrade their receiving corps with Seattle trading for Vikings receiver Percy Harvin and then San Francisco quickly countering by trading for Baltimore receiver Anquan Boldin. I actually like both moves, but the Seahawks made the much stronger play.
Percy Harvin is not just a receiver, he’s an offense. He can line up in the slot, at running back, at the wing, even at tight end. Don’t forget he can also return punts and kicks. Oh yeah, and he’s only 24. Anquan Boldin is a solid receiver, but at 32, provides diminishing returns at this stage of his career. Don’t get me wrong, he’s certainly a step up over Randy “I’m the greatest wide receiver ever” Moss, but I question just how much impact he’ll have on this Niners team. He’s not a blazing deep threat (which they could use) and he’s not that Wes Welker-type slot guy (which they also could use). He reminds me of an older, slower Michael Crabtree.
I don’t want to get too deep into what each team gave up to get Harvin and Boldin, but I think the deals were fair. In this year’s draft, at the position they’re picking, I don’t see the Seahawks getting anything near the ability or impact of Percy Harvin in the first round. It was a deal worth making. And for San Francisco, a sixth round pick for Boldin? He’s worth more than that. Good value for them. Too often when ‘experts’ analyze deals like this they get too caught up on potential, especially for teams giving away draft picks. Look at the reality. The now. The 2013 draft is weak unless you need an offensive or defensive lineman or a linebacker.
In Harvin, the Seahawks now have a bona fide number one receiver to pair with a number of other offensive weapons – stud running back Marshawn Lynch, developing quarterback Russell Wilson, underrated receivers Golden Tate and Sydney Rice, and tight end Zach Miller. Combine that with what’s possibly the best defense in football (yes, better than San Francisco whose secondary let in down a lot toward the end of the season) and I have to say, they have a leg up on the Niners at this point. The battle for the NFC West will be fun to watch this year. Your move, San Francisco…