After Colin Kaepernick supplanted Alex Smith at quarterback last season, Vernon Davis' receiving numbers dwindled. He caught six passes for 61 yards in the final six regular-season games and vented his frustration. After diligently developing a rapport with Smith, he said, he would have to start anew with Kaepernick.
That relationship began to take root in the playoffs when Davis caught 12 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown in three games.
It's carried into 49ers training camp.
Davis has been the perfect match for Kaepernick's ever-improving long ball, and he has been by far the most consistent deep threat in an offense that, to this point, has lacked any firepower at wide receiver apart from veteran Anquan Boldin.
Davis this summer predominantly has worked out of his familiar tight end spot, where he can be used in both the passing game and as a run blocker. But he's also taken a few snaps from the slot position.
Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten are certainly "safer," but Davis's upside makes him tough to pass on in the 5th/6th rounds. He followed up a 6-106-1 line against the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game with 8-104 in the Super Bowl. When he saw 6+ targets in 2012, he averaged 5.3-88-.83. Those are Gronk-type numbers.