Was San Francisco 49er Vernon Davis' 2009 Season a Fluke?

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IAugust 6, 2010

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 3: Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers attempts to make a catch against Justin King #31 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

San Francisco was banking on the next Antonio Gates (and then some) when they selected Maryland star tight end Vernon Davis with their first round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Little did they know, it would take three seasons of hype, potential, and a sketchy attitude before they would see the benefits.

Davis was just about on his last leg. He was in Mike Singletary's doghouse and—despite not much help around him—was floundering in a mediocre offense.

But after registering 78 catches, 965 yards, and 13 touchdowns in 2009, we still have to wonder—can he do it again?

After all, we're talking about a guy that has 83 receptions in his previous two seasons. Until his touchdown-frenzy 2009 season, Davis had totaled just nine touchdowns combined in his three-year career.

But he did put up those fantasy God numbers, and he did finally match all of that potential with some surefire, fantasy-friendly production.

And the other beautiful part of it was how consistent Davis was.

So, how does Davis match that production? How does he remain consistent?

It's actually quite simple—Alex Smith.

Before Smith stepped up in the second half of a loss against the Houston Texans in Week Seven, Davis had recorded just three touchdowns in the first six weeks, hadn't topped 100 yards receiving, and had more than five catches in a game just once.

Once Smith stepped in against the Texans, that all changed for the better, and the impact was felt immediately.

Smith and Davis re-established a growing connection and chemistry that was halted by an injury that knocked Smith out of the 2008 season, as they connected for three scores and 93 yards.

Smith and Davis proceeded to rack up seven touchdowns the rest of the way in 2009, while Davis put up three 100-yard efforts, and caught at least six passes in five of his remaining 10 games.

When you think about it, we should have been able to figure this out all along. Davis is a big, fast, explosive target with solid hands and toughness. What was he missing? Some commitment from his offense, and a guy who knew how to get him the ball.

Now he has both. If he can get his contract situation figured out before the season starts, there will be no reason to think Davis can't continue to impress his skeptics, and play a helping hand in bringing Alex Smith's career back to life.

For fantasy football news and advice, head over to NFL Soup.com


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.