The San Francisco 49ers may have a new addition to their wide receiving core. The new receiver may be All-Pro tight end Vernon Davis. With all the injuries at the wide receiver position, San Francisco has opted to line up their best tight end out wide. Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez is no stranger to this concept of lining up at the wide receiver position.
Throughout his many years with the Kansas City Chiefs, Gonzalez was the number receiver. He created mismatches that gave defensive coordinators fits because of his size and athleticism. Cornerbacks had the speed, but were too small and linebackers and safeties had similar size, but not the athletic ability. The same mismatches could happen with Davis playing out wide. Davis is 6-foot-3, 245 pounds and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds coming out of college when he weighed 255 pounds. Davis has been working with the wide receivers to improve his route running and quickness.
There is potentially one player who could cover Davis, well, at least in his prime, and that player is on the same team. Veteran cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha played for the Oakland Raiders for eight seasons before heading over to the Philadelphia Eagles for two disappointing seasons. Asomugha started off as a safety before moving to cornerback. He spent seasons covering Gonzalez and was effective in doing so. Given that the Niners have both unproven talent and injuries as it pertains to the offensive skilled positions, Davis may be looking at catching 70-plus balls during the regular season.