UPDATE: This article was originally published on Aug. 4, but it's time to revisit the piece following Victor Bolden Jr.'s electrifying 104-yard kick return touchdown Saturday night against the Denver Broncos. He continues to make a strong case for a roster spot. Here's what you should know about the undrafted rookie.
Next up in our "Undrafted" series is Victor Bolden Jr. The 5-foot-8 wide receiver joined the San Francisco 49ers after a four-year career at Oregon State. He's been a regular standout during the first week of training camp.
Here's how Bolden defined his game.
"I can make plays in space," Bolden said. "I can take the top off of a coverage as a deep threat, and I can also do the underneath stuff. I take pride in being versatile, and that's what I bring to the team."
In 2016, Bolden caught 46 passes for 542 yards and two touchdowns. He added 28 carries for 329 rushing yards and two scores. He finished his career with 2,590 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns.
Bolden contributed in the return game as well. His 108 career kick returns resulted in 2,420 yards and three touchdowns. Bolden also fielded 19 punts for 186 yards and one more score.
"I like having the ball in my hands," the receiver said. "I think I have great vision. What separates me is my speed. I can separate from guys in the open field. That's what helps me make the big plays."
Bolden wasn't invited to any of the college All-Star games, but he did get the opportunity to showcase himself at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash and posted a 117-inch broad jump.
His conversations with various teams in Indianapolis were positive. The 49ers were in that mix of clubs interested in Bolden.
"Coaches were impressed with the way I run routes and can separate as a receiver," Bolden said.
San Francisco reached out to Bolden at the end of Day 2 of the NFL Draft. When Bolden was still on the board in the seventh round, the 49ers reached out one more time to confirm their interest in him as a priority free agent.
Initial disappointment quickly turned into an open door.
"I expected to get drafted," Bolden said. "It was unfortunate that I didn't, but that's neither here nor there. I've got to take advantage of this opportunity that I have right now.
"What stood out to me was Kyle Shanahan. The way he gets his guys open – he takes advantage of every different style of receiver. He's starting something new over here, and I wanted to be a part of it."
Bolden has been a regular standout at practice since arriving in the Bay Area. His short-area quickness has made him a bear to cover 1-on-1. He's also made several plays in the vertical passing game.
The former Beavers playmaker continues to get reps in special teams as well at both return spots. That ability will play an important factor when the 49ers ultimately make final roster decisions.
Bolden has received positive reviews thus far, but he knows that the month is very young. There's still much to prove with the preseason opener now just a week away.
"I try to go out and compete with the best and show what I can do," Bolden said. "I thank San Francisco for giving me this opportunity."