(STATS) – FCS players are supposed to be undersized compared to their FBS counterparts, but they’re not all that way.
The Houston Texans drafted one of the exceptions on Saturday, selecting Bucknell’s 6-foot-7, 318-pound offensive tackle Julie’n Davenport with the 130th overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft in Philadelphia.
Add in Davenport’s 36½-inch arm length and 87½-inch wingspan that were among the longest in the draft, and the Texans must love his physical traits.
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Even the way they made the pick was big – it was announced not in Philadelphia, but by retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“I like his tape,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. “It’s, obviously, against small-school competition, but I thought he had a lot of ability and potential. He’s got to improve his technique and footwork, his base has to be more consistent, but he can move. He’s really fluid and he has the biggest wingspan at 87½ inches of any offensive lineman at the (NFL) Combine, and that is a big deal in terms of pass protection and getting around him.”
Davenport was a two-time STATS FCS All-American, including a first-team selection as a senior, and he started all 44 games of his Bucknell career at left tackle. He has excellent reach and quick feet, although he’s still refining his technique and his strength was questioned in the draft buildup.
A native of Camden, New Jersey – just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia – Davenport is a cousin of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Charlotte Hornets small forward who played for Kentucky’s 2012 NCAA champion men’s basketball team.
Davenport became Bucknell’s seventh all-time draft pick, but the first since Sam Havrilak was taken in the eighth round (207th overall) by the Baltimore Colts in 1969.
No Patriot League player had been drafted since 2001, when Lehigh offensive lineman Will Rackley went in the third round (76th overall) to the Jacksonville Jaguars.