Yesterday morning, NFL.com's Adam Schein put together a list of the NFL's most indispensable offensive players. In putting together his list, Schein removed quarterbacks from the equation. We know the quarterback is important, but with so many other players on the field, it's worth looking at the rest of the offense.
Schein listed his top nine players, and he included 49ers tight end Vernon Davis at No. 5:
I argued last week on NFL.com that, despite the blow of losing Michael Crabtree to a torn Achilles, the Niners are still the best team in the NFL. A large part of that argument hinges on the continued development and execution of Davis. If he doesn't take his rapport with Colin Kaepernick to the next level -- if Davis suffers lapses in focus like he did in the Mike Singletary days ("I want winners!") -- then all bets are off.
I think Davis is a star -- and an indispensable one, at that.
So, what do you think? Is Davis that indispensable non-quarterback on the 49ers offense?
The 49ers will spend the rest of the offseason figuring out the best ways to compensate for Michael Crabtree's absence, and it is safe to say Vernon Davis will factor into their plans. Davis's numbers were not huge last season, but as Davis said yesterday, and as we discussed in the comments of his 90-in-90 post, it is all about doing what the team needs. Whether that be blocking, drawing away safeties, or actually catching the ball, Davis has developed into a well-rounded machine.
Now that Crabtree is out for much of the upcoming season, it will be interesting to see what happens with Davis. Obviously he can be valuable drawing double-teams and blocking, but his combination of speed and athleticism means he remains one of the most dangerous big-play threats on this offense.
I think the argument can be made that his unique combination of skills could make him the most indispensable player on this offense. What do you think?