All the talk about Anthony Davis coming out of the draft made me think that he lived in a really weird house. He had a somewhat low floor, which he seemed to be around quite frequently coming out of college. But, he also had a really high ceiling, and the 49ers for some reason wanted him to duct tape all of his furniture to his ceiling and live up there instead.
Apparently, the coaches could help him with that. "With good coaching and as he gets older," experts would say, "Davis could reach his high ceiling." So for the 49ers' sake, I hope Davis does not get vertigo.
Moving on from all this talk about Davis' ill-proportioned house, and setting aside the fact that nobody talks about his walls, the story about Anthony Davis on the 49ers has been a frustrating one, and perhaps a tenuous one, since the day he stepped onto that stage a drafted man.
First off, we traded up to get him. I don't want to write an entire dissertation upon this topic, so I will just say this: Trent Baalke is much smarter than me and way more good-looking. He knows what he is doing. If he wants a player and thinks that player is vital to the team's success, then he can trade any picks he deems necessary to get him.
And let this be my official invitation to Trent that I will help in any way possible. An opposing GM likes fresh milk? I will find the nearest available udder and homogenize the crap out of that liquidy-goodness myself if it helps us get a player. I have no problem with trading up for Davis.
Moreover, a lot of people thought that he might be too young. I was hesitantly one of those people, even though we were actually the same age, which for some reason made him too young and made me feel old.
But yes, the man had all the potential in the world. His run blocking was good (and is now looking great - for the most part) and we were just hoping that we could sweep his pass blocking under some rug that would somehow make it all magically better. That, or we could take him to the Pokémon daycare center to level him up!
And, to be honest, his first year in the league bore this assessment out. Davis looked good in run blocking, but struggled in pass blocking. His best pass blocking technique was essentially to go off sides.
Because of last year, I was still hopeful, though. He showed a lot of promise and I was pumped for him to improve this season, which I think he has. The first few games were rough for the o-line, but hey, lockout, so yeah. Now that things are becoming much more secure and protection packages are, you know, being utilized, the entire o-line looks much better and Davis particularly has stepped up to the challenge.
Does he still have room to improve? Of course. He does occasionally get beaten in pass protection still - in fact, he gets beaten a little too much for my comfort. It is night and day, however, from his rookie season. Moreover, Davis still needs to work on anticipating the snap count better. I love the speed off the line, but it's gotta be in sync with the ball being snapped, not a fraction of a second before.
This week, going up against the Redskins, Davis will probably face Ryan Kerrigan for the most part. Kerrigan is a rookie from Purdue, and while he has only registered two sacks thus far in the season, he has some serious talent.
What are some of the things you want to see from Davis on Sunday and moving forward? Pass blocking, Pass blocking, Pass blocking is my answer, and I think that is the obvious one. What else do we want to see? Because, for all intents and purposes, the coaching staff can build him a really big ladder before he gets to his ceiling. There's a lot of potential for this kid (I am so old...).