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Anquan Boldin and the slot

We take a look at a PFF piece on the league's best slot receivers and what it could mean for the 49ers

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, there are two deceased equines receiving battery: That the upcoming NFL draft is deep in receiver talent, and that the San Francisco 49ers will be scouring that need to boost their passing game.

With such a bevy of talent, everyone has a favorite amongst the available names. Of those names, there are different archetypes of talent. Most feel comfortable with the notion that the Niners need, and will look for, a deep threat to help stretch the field for Colin Kaepernick's big arm.

One area where the team is more than set at, is with Anquan Boldin as the slot receiver. Gordon McGuinness over at Pro Football Focus took a look at the best receivers working in the slot over the past season. Boldin ranks high in both of the areas they looked at.

He led the league in yards per route run by a hefty margin, racking op 2.88 yards per. Vincent Jackson was next at 2.44, with T.Y. Hilton (2.2) and Brandon Marshall (2.13) rounding out the four receivers who averaged over two yards per route run.

Boldin also only dropped one ball while working in the slot, good for the third best drop rate in the league at 2.44. He trailed only Victor Cruz (2.27) and Marques Colston (2.22), both of whom also only dropped one ball, but rated better due to the number of targets and catches they made.

Consider just how incredible of a feat this was. At age 33, Boldin's physical style and the absence of Michael Crabtree for most of the season, it's a wonder that Q was able to be amongst the game's best while battling frequent double coverages as the obvious primary target.

It would appear the Niners are set in the slot for the next year or two. If Boldin can continue to defy logic by maintaining his health with his style of play, there's no reason for the club to seek a slot presence in the draft. It's one more luxury they have, able to cross off a need as they figure out what their priority should be.