One of the big highlights from the San Francisco 49ers preseason Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos was Victor Bolden’s 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He showed some quality moves and turned on the jets to escape any chance at a tackle.
Bolden ran a 4.54 40 at the NFL Combine, and a 4.53 40 at his Pro Day. It is impressive speed, but not exactly record-breaking like we see from other players. However, one of those “other players” was impressed with his wheels. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver and return man Tyreek Hill, who ran a 4.29 40 at his Pro Day offered this compliment for Bolden.
Bolden is competing for a return role, particularly given that the wide receiver position does not have a lot of options. Bolden and Kendrick Bourne have been two of the more impressive competitors for a sixth and/or seventh spot on the receiver depth chart.
If Bolden can flash some more these next two weeks, that could be enough to get him over the top in the roster competition. Bourne brings size to a wide receiver position that is lacking, but as the sixth or even seventh receiver, he would likely end up inactive or primarily playing on special teams. If Bolden can continue to impress as a returner, that could be enough to beat out Bourne.
It is worth noting the return came in the fourth quarter of a preseason game the 49ers were trailing 33-7. It is impressive regardless, but I am curious how the coaching staff views that return vs. a big return against players further up the depth chart. Raheem Mostert has been the team’s “starting” kick returner through two games. With Bolden’s big return on Saturday, maybe that’s enough to get him a chance in the first quarter.