49ers' Anthony Davis gets positive review for debut at guard

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Anthony Davis played guard in an NFL game for the first time in his career on Friday night.

Davis, who unretired just before training camp and has been a right tackle by trade, started at right guard against the Green Bay Packers in San Francisco's third exhibition game. According to coach Chip Kelly, Davis did well, all things considered.

“We were happy with what AD did," Kelly said. "You know, first extended playing time in a game at guard. There’s some positives that I think we can build on with AD and you see that obviously there’s a really good football player there."

Davis began working at guard in practice when the Niners were in Denver for joint sessions with the Broncos before the second exhibition game. San Francisco slowly brought him along, keeping him at tackle for that game before giving him nearly a week's worth of reps on the interior this past week before the game against Green Bay.

“I’m a big man, quick hands, and I can bend pretty well,” Davis said last week. “It’ll take some time to get used to it."

Davis indicated that he would reach out to former teammate and current Arizona Cardinals guard Mike Iupati for advice on playing inside.

"I watch a lot of Mike Iupati to figure it out," Davis said. "Mike will help me out. I’ll call him.”

The idea to move Davis inside actually came from Davis himself. He said once he saw how Trent Brown was coming along at right tackle, he believed the team's five best linemen would have to include Brown and because of his size, there was no way he could move inside to guard. So Davis said he volunteered and the Niners have been sprinkling him in since.

Against the Packers, Davis played 21 snaps in the first half before calling it a night. It was Davis' first work in a game at the position since he was a freshman at Rutgers and the next step on Davis' journey from a one-year retirement to the starting lineup.

Now, the 49ers will need to see Davis continue to play well there before making his move permanent.

"It’s just how comfortable can we get him because he has played his career at tackle, being comfortable in there on the inside," Kelly said. "But, there were some real positive things that you can take away from AD’s work last night.”