But Vance McDonald also knows he benefited from Davis’ staying away from the team in the offseason. Davis ended his holdout and reported to training camp on Wednesday. McDonald, a second-round pick last year, received repetitions with the starters in the offseason and mandatory minicamp. McDonald said it was a good primer for what is like to be a starter.
”It’s almost like the pressure of, ‘You’ve got to step up. This is what we have here. You’re the No. 1 tight end.’ It was a very good start for me,” McDonald said.
McDonald is now behind Davis on the depth chart. Still, the 49ers want to make him a part of the passing offense this season. He had just eight catches last season, and excelled as a blocker.
McDonald stood out in the first day of training camp and the coaches liked what he showed in the offseason.
McDonald said a big part of his evolution is getting used to playing with such a powerful quarterback like Colin Kaepernick.
“You don’t have a quarterback like that in college,” McDonald said Friday. “It’s just a matter of getting reps with him and experience with him. “Timing-wise, you know what to expect now. It’s a 180-mph ball.”