Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but Fooch is a crazy person who manages this blog with no rhyme or reason and it's worked so far. Who am I to argue?
When I wrote the 90-in-90 post for San Francisco 49ers right guard Alex Boone, I talked about how the team has invested heavily in its offensive line and how that's generally paid off over the years. It's a unit in flux this offseason, with four guys battling for two starting spots and while I have a good idea how that will play out, it's definitely a massive question mark. That's one of the reasons anyone who suggest the 49ers should trade Boone are definitely insane, by the way.
Anyway, the 49ers have generally had a good offensive line, but that was not the case last season, not by a long shot. Boone was bad, Joe Staley was inconsistent, Daniel Kilgore was good and then got injured and Mike Iupati was also bad. Then there's right tackle Anthony Davis.
I've been a big fan of Davis since the 49ers spent a first-round pick on him and I think, typically, he's improves each season he's been with the team ... outside of last season. Davis had multiple strong games, including two solid games to close out the season against the San Diego Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals. But he missed multiple games due to injury, and I had him coming out very poorly in at least three of the games he did play in.
Davis was manhandled against the Denver Broncos, he was trampled by the St. Louis Rams and was all-around bad against the New Orleans Saints. Pro Football Focus backs up those sentiments, grading him out negatively in pass blocking for all of those games, and giving him negative overall ratings in four games last season. They also had him performing very well in Week 16 and Week 17.
So what was the problem? Why did a tackle who seemed to be improving each season start to regress? Davis is fast, strong, effective against the run and decent against the pass, even though he had the tendency to get overwhelmed at times. My guess is the injuries and Boone's struggles combined to that side of the offensive line being nothing more than a big hot mess.
In other words, I don't think there's a whole lot to be concerned with when it comes to Davis' ability going forward. The 49ers' entire interior line is an issue right now and I think the two tackles are fine for the time being. San Francisco doesn't need to worry about Davis going forward, unless there are more injury concerns.
Why he might improve:
Davis is just 25 years old despite coming into his sixth season in the league. He has enormous potential and plenty of room to go. I think he's a little too streaky as a player, and if he can correct those issues, then he can certainly see improvement. If he's not limited by injuries and if Boone comes into the regular season in fine form then Davis should look plenty good next season. Of course, the rest of the line is still a question mark.
Why he might regress:
Davis has dealt with injuries more than once in his short career, and they could certainly play a big factor going forward. By all accounts, he's healthy and ready to go, but that's changed quickly in the past and can do so again. I suppose it's also possible that he's reached his peak, which would mean he's an above average tackle with a tendency to get beat by speed rushers. I suppose that wouldn't really qualify as regression, though.
San Francisco will field a new offense with a new scheme under new coaches, and it's entirely possible Davis doesn't take to that new scheme particularly well. Of course, there's no reason to suspect that's the case, but it's a possibility.
Odds of making the roster:
Davis is the team's starting right tackle and he's signed for the next 30-40 years or something, I can't remember exactly how long his contract is for. He's 100 percent safe, unless aliens or Craig Dahl interfere.