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Kevin Faulk explains what 49ers are getting in Davis-Price originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Kevin Faulk, who played 13 NFL seasons and was a member of three Super Bowl champions as a running back with the New England Patriots, knows what it takes to succeed at the professional level.
After serving as the LSU running backs coach during Ty Davis-Price’s time in Baton Rouge, he might have been one of the few people who was not surprised when the 49ers selected his pupil in the third round, No. 93 overall, of the 2022 NFL Draft.
“They got somebody who’s willing to learn, ready to learn and still has a lot more to learn,” Faulk said on 49ers Talk. “I think he went to the right offense to get that fit. It’s going to be a little different for him, but I think he’s going to adjust to it.”
Davis-Price was not highly ranked on most published non-NFL pre-draft boards. The 49ers selected him as the fifth running back behind Breece Hall, Kenneth Walker, James Cook and Rachaad White.
So what did the independent draft evaluators miss? Faulk believes Davis-Price was undervalued among outside draft opinions because he did not get a whole lot of playing time his first two college seasons before rushing for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.
“When he did get those reps, he produced in those areas,” Faulk said.
Davis-Price's playing weight was in the 230-pound range in his first two seasons. He dropped to 211 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. Faulk said Davis-Price's ideal playing weight is closer to 220 pounds.
“He thought he had to be thicker to take on that pounding, those SEC linebackers,” Faulk said. “But like I told him, if you’re explosive, it doesn’t matter how thick you are because you’re going to run through guys.
“He has smaller-back attributes — jump-cutting, flowing through the hole after the jump-cut. He has those attributes. He just has to understand that he has to stay consistent with his weight and maintain that focus.”
Davis-Price had a game for the ages in an October upset of Florida. He rushed for a school-record 287 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries.
“If we can run that counter play 10 more times, we’d run that counter play 10 more times in the Florida game,” Faulk said. “And he understood that.”
Faulk believes Davis-Price’s blend of power and agility is nicely suited for the 49ers’ running scheme, which has produced five different leading rushers in five seasons with Kyle Shanahan as head coach. Last season, Elijah Mitchell led the 49ers in rushing as a rookie with 963 yards in the regular season despite missing six games due to injuries.
“I think he fits in well,” Faulk said of Davis-Price. “I think he fits in with the other guys they have there, especially Elijah. I just think those two guys will complement each other real well.”