Since I’m now located on the East Coast, I’ve been following East Coast teams much more closely than I have before.
Of course, you’d have had to be blind to miss Rutgers recent rise to prominence (hence the rumors they are the target of a pilfering attempt by the Big Ten) no matter where you lived. But there’s a lot more to the conference than I thought before I returned back to NY.
This year, 18 players from the Big East Conference were drafted and a slew of others were picked up as street free agents.
Over the next week we’re going to take a look at some of them, where they went and what their landing spot might mean for their success in the league.
This entry covers Anthony Davis, former Rutgers offensive tackle.
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers – Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers at 1-11
A long time before the 2010 NFL Draft I did an article on Bleacherreport.com which hoped that the 49ers would 1) end up with at least one if not two offensive linemen and 2) that Anthony Davis would be one of them.
For a while, Davis’ stock rose enough that – coupled with rumors that as many as seven (!) offensive tackles would go before the 49ers picked – it looked unlikely.
The team must have felt the same way. Which is why when Davis was still on the board at 11, they jumped at the chance to swap spots with Denver and finally secured a player who can take over the tackle spot opposite Joe Staley.
While both his run and pass blocking abilities are very good, Davis will need to work on being a little more aggressive and nasty in the trenches. If anyone can get that out of Davis, it will be his new Head Coach Mike Singletary. Davis is the big, physical player they have lacked on the right side for years and it was the 49ers biggest need to fill.
Davis is incredibly quick off the snap, allowing him to catch pass rushers coming in off the edge. His speed also allows him to quickly get to the second level on rush plays and get a good lick on a linebacker before the ball carrier arrives.
Davis’ speed, quickness and strength will be a tremendous asset to his new team and if Singletary can push Davis to reach his maximum potential, they will have a lynchpin on the once sieve-like right side who is stout enough to be a very good run blocker and has the athleticism and agility to be outstanding in pass protection as well.
Paired with the pick of Iowa Guard Mike Iupati, the 49ers have made a huge jump forward in terms of improving their offensive line. You have to think Frank Gore, Glen Coffee and Alex Smith are extremely happy this week.