The San Francisco 49ers are making strides to keep their young core intact for years to come. Earlier today, the organization and 2010 first-round pick Anthony Davis have come to terms on a five-year, $37 million extension with $17 million guaranteed. His deal makes him one of the highest-paid tackles in the NFL.
At 23 years old, Davis is the youngest member of the starting offensive line. Despite his youth, he is already one of the best at the position.
In his three years as a pro, the former Rutgers standout has shown steady growth. Based on the statistics calculated by Pro Football Focus, Davis allowed the fourth-most penalties (11) while surrendering the second-most sacks (11) during his rookie season. Early on, he was failing to meet expectations.
But since head coach Jim Harbaugh arrived in 2011, Davis’ play has turned around for the better. Using his strength and quickness, the young tackle is one reason why the 49ers were ranked fourth in rushing yards per game last year.
Still having yet to reach his prime, Davis should only improve with each game. While he has struggled at times in pass protection, he’s shown noticeable progress. If he refines that part of his game, multiple Pro Bowls and All-Pro accolades are on his horizon.
After churning out a stellar 2012 performance, the 49ers have made the right business decision to reward Davis’ efforts immediately. The 49ers’ game plan is built on being physical, and he represents that brand of football to a tee.
With left tackle Joe Staley and now Davis locked up for the foreseeable future, San Francisco is in place to field the league’s best offensive line for years to come.