First round surprise for Chargers?

There are several positions on the San Diego Chargers that don't seem to need a first round selection. Running back is an obvious. Tight end too. But the Bolts setup an interview with a first rounder from one of those positions.

After having so much success with the Maryland program last year and the selection of Shawne Merriman, the Chargers are looking back to the Terrapin program and tight end Vernon Davis.

The two are close friends today.

"(Merriman) basically helped me with my decision," Davis said. "I went to him before I left Maryland and I asked him if it was a good idea to leave and he said, 'Yeah, you had a great season and there's not much more you can do there at Maryland.'"

Davis confirmed that he is be one of 60 players who have met with the Chargers at the NFL Combines, as per NFL rules.

Antonio Gates has led the Chargers in receiving the last two years, catching 89 passes this past year.

But that has not stopped the Bolts from talking to Davis, a player that has been compared to Gates and Shannon Sharpe.

"He's good. He is someone I have watched throughout my college career and I like the way he plays," said Davis. "But there are some things when I look at the guy, he does a little better than myself and things I do better than him as far as speed, things like that."

A pretty bold statement from a special tight end. But to say he does some things better than Gates, a two-time Pro Bowler in three years, may be a bit of a stretch.

Attitude, coupled with ability, however, have made Davis an unstoppable force on the college gridiron.

"When you've got a guy who can do more than catch the ball, get extra yardage after catching the ball and make guys miss," Davis began. "That pretty much speaks for itself."

After collecting 27 receptions for 441 yards to lead the team in 2004, Davis went on to haul in 51 passes for 871 yards and six touchdowns – becoming a game-changing weapon.

And now the Chargers are showing serious interest in the 6-foot-5, 263-pound tight end (official numbers from Indy).

Considered the top tight end in the draft, Davis is a mix of athleticism, size and speed. Eerily similar to Gates. Lining him up opposite Gates would be a nightmare for the opposition – the only question is whether there is enough ball to around.

"I am blessed," added Davis. "I have good speed and I always make the catch. I block well and my route running has gotten a lot better."

And blessed would be the Chargers if they carted out such a tandem as Gates and Davis.


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