NFC West: Jacob Ford

A few more thoughts on Vernon Davis' deal

September, 11, 2010
CHICAGO -- A few thoughts on Vernon Davis during a layover and after the San Francisco 49ers extended the tight end's contract through the 2015 season:

  • Davis can do it all. He went to the Pro Bowl last season mainly because he caught 13 touchdown passes. Davis has caught passes thrown over the wrong shoulder. He has out muscled Pro Bowl-caliber players for the football, including the Arizona Cardinals' Adrian Wilson. He has used his speed to outrun defenders -- especially down the middle. I've also appreciated Davis' approach to blocking. In going through my notes over the past two seasons, I found examples of Davis containing or taking out Mathias Kiwanuka, Patrick Kerney, Chike Okeafor, Charles Grant, Will Smith, James Hall, Calvin Pace, Jacob Ford, David Harris and others. I recall him blocking the Chicago Bears' Nick Roach aggressively enough last season to injure the 250-pound inside linebacker. Those are the plays that can make Davis a dynamic all-around player.
  • Davis doesn't always do it all. He seems to have lapses in awareness at times. My notes over the past couple seasons also include dropped passes, costly penalties, an instance when he failed to get out of bounds to stop the clock, missed blocks and potential failures to recognize blitzing defenders (resulting in pressure or incomplete passes when Davis failed to look back at the quarterback). Davis can become more consistent.
  • Davis has good intentions. This is what makes the 49ers feel good about rewarding Davis. They can be confident he'll continue working at his craft. Naming Davis a team captain seemed to help Davis act more like one. The 49ers should expect this contract extension to promote more consistent play from Davis. He's been great at times, but not all the time. It's fair to hold him to a higher standard after this extension.

The laptop battery is about to expire. Catching a connecting flight to St. Louis here shortly. Enjoy your Saturday night.

Pick 2008 2007 2006 2005
Kenny Phillips
Greg Olsen Kelly Jennings
Mike Patterson
Terrell Thomas
Brandon Jackson
Darryl Tapp
Matt McCoy
Mario Manningham
Dante Hughes
Willie Reid
Darryl Blackstock
Jack Ikegwuonu Brannon Condren
Willie Colon
Fred Gibson
167 Erik Walden
Kevin Payne
Charles Davis
Michael Hawkins
204 Lex Hilliard
Jacob Ford
LaJuan Ramsey
Chris Kemoeatu
254 --
Jonathan Holland Vickiel Vaughn Doug Nienhuis

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Cardinals hold the 31st, 63rd, 95th, 131st, 167th, 204th, 240th and 254th choices in the 2009 draft. For perspective, I've singled out the last four players chosen in those spots.

Teams have certainly found tight ends at No. 31 in recent years. The Bears drafted Greg Olsen (2007). The Ravens drafted Todd Heap (2001).

In 2005, my first year of NFL blogging, more than a few Seattle fans wanted the Seahawks to select linebacker Darryl Blackstock. The Cardinals drafted him instead at No. 95. They have the 95th pick again this year. Blackstock is the only linebacker drafted in that spot since the 49ers drafted Mitch Donahue from Wyoming in 1991.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was with the Steelers in 2006 when they drafted guard Willie Colon with the 131st overall choice. Colon has started every game over the last two seasons. Arizona could stand to find starting-caliber depth for its line at some point in the 2009 draft.

Whisenhunt was also with the Steelers in 2005 when they drafted eventual starting guard Chris Kemoeatu with the 204th choice, another slot Arizona inhabits this season. In 2001,
the Bengals found T.J. Houshmandzadeh in that slot. Hall of Famer Art Donovan was also drafted 204th -- in 1947.