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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
49ers' Davis: 'I have to outwork those guys'

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Veteran tight ends Zach Miller and Todd Heap join early draft choices Lance Kendricks and Rob Housler among tight ends new to the NFC West this season.

The reigning king of tight ends in the division has noticed.

"May the best man win," the San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis said Tuesday. "It's competitive. That is what I like. I have to outwork those guys. I have to do better than them if I want to be at the top of the charts. I look forward to the challenge."

The 49ers plan to feature Davis and fellow tight end Delanie Walker in new coach Jim Harbaugh's offense. Walker, 26, set a career high with 29 receptions last season. Davis leads NFL tight ends in touchdown receptions over the past two seasons with 20.

The chart ranks NFL tight ends by most receiving yards since 2008, according to Pro Football Reference. Miller, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks in free agency, ranks fifth. Davis is close behind in sixth. Heap, now with the Arizona Cardinals, and Seattle's John Carlson rank among the top 20.

Of the rookies, all signs point to second-round choice Kendricks playing extensively for the St. Louis Rams. Housler, a third-rounder, appears more likely to ease into the offense, learning from Heap.