Niners No. 1a pick: Vernon Davis

Player profile and analysis for tight end Vernon Davis, selected by the 49ers on Saturday with the No. 6 overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft.

Full Name: Vernon Davis
School: Maryland
Position: Tight end
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 254 pounds
Year: Third-year junior
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds

Biography: All-Conference and All-American selection as a junior, becoming the first Maryland offensive player since center Bob Pellegrini in 1955 to be named an AP first-team All-American. Didn't become a full-time starter until 2005 – in his first two years as a H-back, he caught 32 passes for 500 yards and three TDs; in his one season as a classic TE, he caught 51 passes for 871 yards and six touchdowns. Is a weight room monster, holding Terps school records for tight ends in with a 460-pound bench press, a 685-pound squat, a 355-pound clean and jerk, as well as records for vertical jump (40 inches) and 40-yard dash (4.38 seconds). Has amazing speed for a tight end, as evidenced by averaging more than 17 yards per reception in 2005. Has big hands and plucks the ball naturally. Has the speed to outrun anyone on the defense and the size to brush aside D-backs coming at him one on one. Excellent leaping ability makes him dangerous in the red zone. Used as a tight end, H-back, slot receiver and lines up wide depending on the down and distance. Not a blocker and doesn't always seem willing to do that part of his job. A little on the short side for an NFL tight end. Not a student of the game, so 49ers tight ends coach Pete Hoener will have to be patient. Did a phenomenal job at the Combine, running a 4.38 40 with 33 reps of 225 pounds, a phenomenal 42-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10-8. His 93 career receptions rank 13th in Maryland school history, his 1,371 receiving yards rank 11th and his nine touchdown receptions are tied for ninth.

Positives: Explosive athlete swiftly developing into an outstanding football player. Quick off the snap, gets downfield and creates mismatches in the secondary. Plays with good pad level, adjusts to the throw and makes the difficult reception in a crowd. Has soft hands, and is a sturdy pass catcher who takes the big hit then holds onto the ball. Immediately transitions up the field running after the reception. Solid route-runner who quickly gets into breaks then stays low on exit. Shields opponents away with his frame or physically beats them down to make the catch. Strong, controls opponents at the point blocking or beats jam at the line of scrimmage.

Negatives: Still raw and indecisive on the field. Not a dominant drive blocker who finishes.

Analysis: An exceptional athlete, Davis offers tremendous upside potential. Continuing to make strides in all areas of his game, he will grow into a complete tight end with the 49ers.


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