Chris Davis Relishes Opportunity to Play Nickel CB

No need to remind Chris Davis that he went undrafted. The San Francisco 49ers cornerback was overlooked in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he uses that slight as motivation.

That chip on Davis' shoulder has vaulted him to the top of the depth chart as the team's starting nickel corner. The third-year defensive back played with the first-team defense in Sunday night's preseason opener against the Houston Texans.

Davis locked down Houston's slot receivers while he was in the game and recorded a crucial pass break-up on a fourth-down play in the second quarter. He finished the game with three total tackles and the PBU.

If Sunday night was any indication, Davis has no intention of relinquishing his spot.

"I come in to work everyday with my job on the line," Davis said. "Through this game, this is how I take care of my family. Everyday I try to compete. As long as I'm healthy, I feel like I've got an opportunity to win the slot position."

Davis' performance played an integral role in the first-half success of San Francisco's defense. Jim O'Neil's group pitched a shutout in the first two quarters.

"I think I played good. I've got some things I can correct and do better," Davis said. "I'm going to watch film and correct the things I messed up on."

Davis isn't new to the position, having spent time covering the slot during his rookie season with the San Diego Chargers and his junior year in college at Auburn.

The corner originally signed with the 49ers halfway through the 2015 season on Nov. 3. Davis only appeared in three games, but a postseason talk with general manager Trent Baalke had him feeling confident entering this season.

"I came here to compete," Davis said. "That's one thing I asked Trent at the end of the season when I got here, 'Would I be able to compete for a starting position?' He told me, 'Of course.' That's what it is right now and I'm trying to make the most of my opportunity."

Davis added that he speaks regularly with Jimmie Ward about playing in the nickel. Ward held down that job for the majority of last season before moving to outside corner in 2016. 

"We talk about it a lot," Davis said. "We pick each other's brain."

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