After totaling only seven catches since week 10, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis had himself a game Sunday. He caught five passes for 106 yards, while also getting his first touchdown in seven games. His effort came at perfect timing, as he helped lead the Niners to a Super Bowl appearance after they beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24.
Davis is a very uncommon type of tight end. He has the speed of a wide receiver and the strength of a linebacker. There aren’t too many tight ends in the NFL with this type of speed, but the Washington Redskins have themselves one. He goes by the name of Fred Davis.
Let’s not be so quick to forget about this guy. I believe he was on his way towards a breakout year until he injured himself for the season in week seven. He had 24 catches through six and a half games. With Pierre Garcon missing six games, Fred was starting to become Robert Griffin III‘s safety blanket early in the season. Fred isn’t as fast as Vernon Davis, but he matches him in size and can be just as effective for the Redskins.
It’s evident the type of impact that a tight end with speed and strength can have on an NFL’s offense. Not only Vernon Davis, but look at Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski for the New England Patriots, Tony Gonzalez for the Falcons, or New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham. They are all the type of tight ends that can put stress on opposing defensive coordinators throughout the week. Fred Davis fits the category of that type of player, in my opinion.
Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen had a productive season for the Redskins, but he isn’t the play-maker that Fred is. Fred Davis may be the missing link that the Redskins offense needs to take them over the top. If they can get a healthy Garcon, Fred, and Griffin next season, it’s scary how good Washington could become on that side of the ball.
Josiah Turner/Redskins columnist