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Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati: When do they become game-changers?


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Today I bring you the second in a series of bi-weekly posts looking at game-changing moves made by the 49ers this offseason. The first of these posts came at a fairly opportune time, given that it was the day the 49ers acquired Miami Dolphins WR Ted Ginn Jr. Prior to that move I had been thinking of doing the first post on the lack of any necessary game-changing veteran.

With the 2010 NFL Draft securely in the rear view mirror, now is as good a time as any to start looking at the potential game-changing impact of the 49ers newest additions. The team kicks off its rookie minicamp today, to go along with some veteran OTAs, and first round picks Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati begin the climb to hopefully bust through into the 49ers starting lineup. The 49ers biggest weakness last season was the offensive line, and the team definitely took the bull by the horns

My question is how long do you think it will take for each to get into the starting lineup? Since "game-changer" is a fairly vague term, particularly when it comes to offensive linemen, I think it'll be easiest to just discuss getting into the lineup. They're both in intriguing situations. Mike Iupati appears to be the closer of the two to being starter-worthy. Davis has a ton of upside, but there seem to be more concerns about some of his weaknesses.

However, if you consider the guys ahead of them on the depth chart (Adam Snyder and David Baas), Davis seems to have the weaker competition. Baas and Snyder both have their problems, but I feel more comfortable with Baas in the starting lineup than I do with Snyder. Thus, Davis would seem to have the clearer shot at a starting gig in that regard.

I honestly have no idea who will be starting first. Gun to my head, I'd say Iupati, but it wouldn't surprise me if Singletary decided to go with both in the starting lineup at the same time. When dealing with the delicate chemistry of the o-line, a single shake-up of both sides would be sort of the equivalent of tearing off the band-aid as quickly as possible. Then again, if either Baas or Snyder jumps out to a great training camp, maybe it forces Singletary to hold off on one of the two rookie offensive linemen.

What does everybody think?