Vernon Davis, the San Francisco 49ers star tight end, has reportedly been practicing as a receiver in the recent minicamp. With a depleted receiver corps, it is not surprising that the 49ers are having Davis learn all the receiver positions. The only problem? He’s been practicing at receiver and tight end practically his whole career.
Davis is arguably the most physically gifted tight end in the NFL and he’s been used that way since Jim Harbaugh and Niners Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman took over. Initially, Davis had a hard time learning the offense,so he was utilized mainly as a decoy and blocker, but he has come alive in the playoffs the past two years for San Francisco.
Davis gives the Niners a lot of versatility, whether it is inline blocking for the running game or making huge plays down the field for Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the Niners offense. It would be surprising if there were reports that he wasn’t practicing at wide receiver for the Niners.
If the 49ers want to repeat as NFC Champions and return to the Super Bowl, Davis has to be the 49ers top offensive threat in the passing game. The 49ers will almost assuredly stick with their ground and pound running game, but it will be hard when you have such a dynamic QB running your offense. Davis must be the top tight end and receiving option for the 49ers this year.
It will be interesting to see how the most creative offense in the NFL will survive without their star receiver Michael Crabtree ,who said he is a month away from walking on his injured achilles. But, step one in survival is using your best receiving threat in multiple ways to create mismatches on offense.
The 49ers offense will be a work in progress, but should be just as dynamic as last year with Kaepernick getting a full offseason as 49ers starter and building a better rapport with the receivers including Davis.