ENGLEWOOD, Col. – The 49ers proceeded during the offseason without any guarantees that right tackle Anthony Davis would come back after a one-year hiatus.
General manager Trent Baalke on Wednesday said the uncertainty was taken into account with some of the decisions the team made in the draft.
“We went into it thinking, ‘You know what, if he does choose to come back it’s a bonus, but we can’t count on that,’ ” Baalke said. “It did influence some of our decisions.”
Baalke did not specify how Davis’ delayed commitment impacted the 49ers’ personnel moves. The 49ers traded up into the first round to select guard Joshua Garnett. Then, the 49ers used picks in the fifth round to add tackles John Theus and Fahn Cooper.
But that strategy is nothing new to the 49ers, who have routinely attempted to bolster their offensive line through the draft. In 2015, the 49ers drafted Ian Silberman and Trent Brown. A year earlier, Baalke took Marcus Martin and Brandon Thomas.
“Each year we try to draft two or three guys, if not four,” Baalke said. “I think that’s a position that you have to be strong at. In order to be strong, you have to draft them.”
Davis waited until the week training camp opened to submit his paperwork for reinstatement off the NFL’s reserve/retirement list. He reported to camp on time and has not missed a practice. Davis is currently competing against Brown to regain his old starting job.
“Some times you have to get away from something to figure out how much you love it, how much you missed it,” Baalke said. “I think AD is one of those guys. He stepped away, collected his thoughts, looked at his options, looked at what he wanted to do moving forward and was brought back to the game.
“(I’m) very happy with him. Very happy with the way he’s engaged amongst his teammates. Not only in the offensive line room but the team itself, the locker room.”