Kaepernick and Davis could be next great QB-TE connection
Coming out of the University of Maryland in 2006, Vernon Davis was considered one of the greatest physical specimens to ever enter the NFL. His combination of size, speed, and overall athleticism was unprecedented. The San Francisco 49ers drafted him sixth overall in 2006, but he has been a bit disappointing to this point in his career, with only one true standout season which came back in 2009 (his only Pro Bowl campaign).
Talent, however, was never the issue for Davis. He has spent most of his career catching passes from Alex Smith, who has never turned any of his pass catchers into a thousand-yard receiver. Davis finally got a chance to play with a quarterback who can sling the ball all over the field last year when Colin Kaepernick won the 49ers' starting job, but Davis did not initially click with his new signal caller.
Though they couldn't get on the same page during their first season together, don't expect a lack of chemistry between Davis and Kaepernick in 2013. Reports out of 49ers camp have called the two players "seemingly unstoppable" together, as they have had a full offseason to work on developing a rapport. Davis recently said that he and his quarterback are "on a different level" this season. The two are bound to find ways to utilize the remarkable talents of one another and dominate defenses with their unique skill sets.
What makes life even scarier for the 49ers' 2013 opponents is that Davis has spent much of camp working with the team's wide receivers. He's been honing his route running and developing a more refined pass catching skill set. This is a player who can run past cornerbacks and outmuscle linebackers, and now he is improving as a pure receiver - it's starting to sound scary.
To top it all off, the 49ers are going to be thin at wide receiver due to the loss of Michael Crabtree (Achilles), so Davis is going to receive a ton of targets. Anquan Boldin is considered the No. 1 receiver in San Francisco, but only because Davis is technically a tight end - I expect Davis to be Kaepernick's top option in the passing game.
Davis is going to be moved all over the field this year - he'll be an in-line tight end, a slot receiver, and even get some looks on the outside. You can expect that Kaepernick, in his second year as a starting quarterback, will be even better than last year. With the chemistry that has reportedly developed between Davis and Kaepernick, this duo could very well be one of the most dominant in the league.
I am expecting career highs in both receptions and receiving yards for Davis this year. Despite a very weak, disappointing 41/548/5 line last season, I'd be surprised if Davis didn't reach the thousand-yard mark in 2013 - a feat he has never accomplished before. I'm sure that the 49ers are scheduled for quite a few prime time games this year, and I'm very much looking forward to them thanks to Vernon Davis and Colin Kaepernick.