The Houston Texans have a glaring hole at right tackle.
Julie’n Davenport has got his eye on it.
After being selected with the 130th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Davenport said he plans to compete for a starting spot this season.
“I’m ready to get right to work,” Davenport said. “I’m ready to fight for that starting spot. I want to play right away. If anybody doesn’t have that mindset, I don’t know if they belong in this league.”
Davenport, a four-year starter at Bucknell and two-time FCS All-American, is said to possess outstanding measurables, including the longest arms of the class, at 36.5 inches, and massive hands.
But he’s also considered to be a developmental player, who needs to improve his technique before he can make a real impact.
Davenport plans on making that happen sooner rather than later.
“I’m real competitive, and I want to be one of the best (ever),” Davenport said. “So I’m gonna be that overachiever, that hard worker, that comes every day with a purpose.”
The Texans could use it. Starting right tackle Derek Newton is coming off of two torn patella tendons, suffered in their loss to the Denver Broncos, and backup Chris Clark graded out as one of the worst players at the position, according to Pro Football Focus.
General manager Rick Smith said on Friday that Newton’s rehab is going well, and that they expect him to return at some point. He also said they wouldn’t reach for an offensive lineman, or any position, at any point during the draft, and that they would stay true to their board.
Davenport, who impressed with his performance at the Senior Bowl, where he allowed only three pressures on 22 pass snaps, said a lot of his temperament comes from his father, a retired U.S. Marine sergeant.
“Definitely learned just to be a hard worker,” Davenport said. “Continue at everything, everything that you start, you pretty much gotta finish. I’ve really never quit anything in my life. Just having that dignity and integrity and respect.
“Me and my dad are really a mirror image of each other a lot. We’re pretty much the same person. Real laid back, but hard nosed, to the book, and get everything done.”
The rest of it? From all the doubt he’s gotten over the years.
When he wasn’t recruited to an FBS program coming out of high school. When scouts said that what he did against FCS competition wouldn’t translate against real NFL competition. He’s heard it for years.
“It’s there,” Davenport said of the chip on his shoulder. “I know it’s there, and I’m gonna keep it there. There’s gonna be a lot of doubters in the process, and all you’ve gotta do is either prove ’em right or prove ’em wrong. Everything is in my control, and I’m looking to handle everything that comes across my path.”
Matt hosts Saturdays from 1-4 pm on SportsRadio 610. You can, and totally should, follow him on Twitter @MattHammondShow.