Anthony Davis has started 71 regular season games at right
guard tackle, but against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the preseason, he made his game debut at right guard and looked good doing it. Davis, out of necessity, has moved to guard rather than unseat Trent Brown at the right tackle spot.
Davis, who is smaller and quicker than Brown, seems better suited to play along the interior than Brown and given his high level of play throughout his career before his retirement, is better suited to play than other guards on the roster as well.
The 49ers signed Zane Beadles to play left guard this offseason, but right guard was still a question mark ... until now. It seems likely that Davis will stick at right guard, and it may hinge more on how the 49ers feel about Brown at right tackle than Davis’ actual play at the interior position.
Fortunately, they are happy with Davis regardless.
“We were happy with what AD did,” head coach Chip Kelly said on Saturday, via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. “There’s some positives that I think we can build on with AD and you see that obviously there’s a really good football player there.”
Davis has been all for this switch, and has been effusive in his praise for Brown at the right tackle spot. Brown, a second-year player who saw some action but struggled as a rookie, is a massive physical specimen and the sky appears to be the limit in regards to his talent.
The 49ers didn’t run much of Kelly’s actual offense and scheme against the Packers, and that will be important in the decisions made with Davis going forward. They were shifting things around on the line, and because it’s the preseason didn’t want to show too much. Davis will need to continue to impress coaches at the position in practice if he is to be officially named the starter at right guard.
But at this point it seems like a foregone conclusion. At the end of the day, the 49ers — and any team in the league — want to get their best 11 on the field on either side of the ball. Regardless of the line’s makeup, that should include Davis.