More Offensive Line Help is Coming: Bears to Sign LT Julién Davenport (UPDATE: It’s Official)
Two things I will never do are look a gift horse in the mouth and undervalue the importance of having a fresh body in the mix for competition along the offensive line.
Offensive line depth (more specifically, a lack of it) has been a problem for the Bears in recent years. So while stability and upgrades among the starting five would be welcome, bolstering the backups is a nice touch. And if Julién Davenport plays himself into something more, then I’d consider it extra frosting on the cake.
NFL reporter Aaron Wilson hears the Bears and Davenport are on the cusp of making something happen:
Chicago Bears are expected to sign veteran offensive tackle Julién Davenport, a former Houston Texans fourth-round draft pick from Bucknell, after a successful workout, according to a league source
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 22, 2022
The Davenport signing, once officially official (UPDATE: It is now!), makes for an interesting addition. It’s by no means a game-changer. And it sure isn’t the splashy kind of offensive line move that will change the trajectory of this team in 2022. But I know better than to look past offensive line help, even if it is a down-the-depth-chart type of move.
Davenport, 27, was a fourth-round pick by the Texans in 2017. He has 60 games of experience under his belt which began in Houston (2017-18) before landing in Miami (2019-20) as part of the Laremy Tunsil trade. A year later, Davenport found himself In Indianapolis, where he made nine appearances (four starts). That brief stint with the Colts must’ve made a strong enough impression to lead Davenport to have a tryout with the Bears on Thursday. And that tryout must have been good enough to open the door to a contract.
To add another layer of intrigue, Davenport was among the tackles the Bears had hands-on experience with at the Senior Bowl in 2017. Here’s what we wrote about him at the time:
This FCS standout didn’t face the kind of competition constantly seen by his Senior Bowl teammates who played at FBS schools, but played well enough at Bucknell to earn a roster spot in this showcase game. Four different organizations (American Football Coaches Association, AP, STATS, Walter Camp) named him a first-team All-American. He is the only Bucknell senior to start all 44 games from 2013-16. A two-time captain for the Bison, Walter Football notes that every team went to see this Bucknell standout – many with the belief that his size and upside could lead to him being a starting left tackle in the NFL one day. Both CBS and Walter Football have him with a round 3-4 grade.
Small world, eh?