Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


49ers rookie Kalia Davis not molding his game after D.J. Jones

Rohan Chakravarthi
May 13, 2022 at 1:35 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers begin their rookie minicamp on Friday afternoon, giving fans and media their first look at the nine rookies the team drafted, as well as the undrafted free agents the team signed or invited to camp.

One player that likely will not participate in team drills is sixth-round defensive tackle Kalia Davis, who is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last fall, which likely played a role in his falling draft stock.

Davis has had an intriguing journey, playing linebacker during his freshman season before transitioning to the defensive line, which he attributed to his bigger size.

"Well really, I moved from linebacker to D-lineman because my body was changing," Davis said. "I [gained] a little too much weight. The biggest part about moving from linebacker to D-line was just getting into my stance. I was already a physical linebacker, so once I got my stance right, I had the athletic ability, and I had the physicality already. So it was just getting the stance together. That's what really made me into the D-lineman I am today."

The position change provides Davis with a unique skillset. He has good athleticism for his size, which is why many profile him to former 49er D.J. Jones. However, the UCF product does not visualize his play style in that way.

"I've been watching a lot of D.J. Jones. He's a great player. I don't want to be D.J. Jones. I want to kind of create my own lane. Most definitely, D.J. Jones is a heck of a player. ... That's a great compliment. I feel good with them saying that but I'm not trying to mold myself after him. I'm trying to get into this game and pave my own way. When a legend like John Lynch is saying something like that, and D.J.'s [making] $30 million? It kind of makes me feel good."

Davis could begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List, which would sideline him for the first six weeks of the season, allowing the 49ers to carry another player on their 53-man roster.
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