When Julién Davenport heard his name called, it marked the first time a Bucknell player had been drafted into the NFL since 1969. Davenport has been on the Houston Texans radar for some time and it hit full swing when Houston Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin was sent to meet with Davenport during the draft process.
“Definitely had a good feeling,” Davenport said on Devlin’s interest in him. “I would say me and him, we had a real good relationship, bonded really well. He really liked my workout, really liked me in the classroom as well. Then we went out to eat and just kind of chopped it up and had a good time. Definitely felt like a good connection there.”
Bill O’Brien listened to what Devlin had to say about Davenport and liked what he heard on the Bucknell product.
“He (Devlin) worked him out and had a good day with him and that was impressive to us, “O’Brien explained. “Smart. He’s got a ways to go, just like most of these guys do, but really good length, arm length, height, athleticism. We think he could potentially play both sides, right and left. We really were impressed with him on that workout so every phase, our evaluation with him was good.”
The Texans envision Davenport working at right tackle when they hit the field but more importantly, they think he has a chance to help at left tackle in the future. The Texans are intrigued with Davenport’s skill set and physical attributes. He boasted the longest arms in the draft at 36.5 inches with a wingspan of 87.5 inches. To put that in perspective, former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has a wing span of 84 inches.
With the Texans needing help at right tackle, Davenport knows there is a chance for him to make his mark and get an opportunity to play this upcoming season.
“I’m coming in and I’m ready to get right to work and I’m ready to be fighting for that starting spot,” Davenport declared. “I want to play right away. Anybody that doesn’t have that mindset, then I don’t know if they belong in this league because I’m real competitive and I want to be one of the best to go down. I want to be that overachiever, hard worker that comes every day with a purpose.”
Questions were raised on whether the level of competition at Bucknell would be a concern, but the Texans liked what they saw when Davenport practiced at the Senior Bowl. Davenport’s play elevated as practices progressed during the week against better competition.
“We take into account the level of competition, and there’s no doubt about that,” O’Brien said of Davenport.” “That’s all part of the evaluation. We also try to do the best job we can of getting to know the guy in more ways than just his skill set.”
There is work to be done with Julién Davenport, but the Texans are confident in Devlin's ability to help develop Davenport for the future.
O’Brien stated, “We feel like there’s a lot to develop there and we’re looking forward to coaching him.”
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