Plan on these 2nd-year 49ers players to break out big in 2023

San Francisco 49ers EDGE Drake Jackson (99)
San Francisco 49ers EDGE Drake Jackson (99) / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Kalia Davis, UCF Knights
UCF Knights linebacker Kalia Davis (22) / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3: 49ers defensive tackle Kalia Davis

Defensive tackle Kalia Davis checked off a lot of boxes for San Francisco a year ago. The 6-foot-2, 310-pound defender could easily slide in as a solid 1-technique nose tackle, and the 49ers haven't had a true one of those since watching D.J. Jones leave for the Denver Broncos a little over a year ago.

On top of that, Davis had plenty of athleticism during his UCF collegiate days, too. The only problem was he suffered a torn ACL toward the end of his final college year, and the Niners were forced to redshirt him his rookie season.

Granted, San Francisco hasn't had a great history of getting much out of players coming off serious injuries to start their pros careers, and now Davis is trying to buck the trend.

The way Davis potentially breaks out is by being a quality two-down run-defending interior lineman who can plug A-gaps with his bulky frame.

Davis' season-ending stats may not be gaudy, but look for his presence to be felt regardless.