Houston Texans: How Julién Davenport will make best of an opportunity

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have been mired in tons of injuries, decimating what could have been a successful season for the franchise.  But one of the bright spots is that Julién Davenport will be able to take advantage of unique opportunity to shine.

Despite all of the challenges the Houston Texans have faced this season, the band continues to play on, irregardless if they’re off-key at many points  of their scales.  When one goes back and reflects at what could’ve been for the 2017 season, you look back and say that this would’ve been no doubt a advantageous one.

The losses of Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, D’Onta Foreman, Christian Covington — the list can go on and on — is certainly a testament in regard to how unlucky this team has been on the injury front.  At least the first three aforementioned players have proven that their presence makes a difference in regard to if the team wins a multitude of games or just a minute few on the other end of the spectrum.

But notwithstanding what I’ve just told you, other guys such as Carlos Watkins, Chad Slade and David Quessenberry are getting the opportunity to take advantage of a unique situation to showcase their talents.

Did you notice I missed a name there?

Yes, there’s no way that I can forget to mention Julie’n Davenport, our 4th-round pick from this year’s draft.  Davenport’s road to success has been winding to say the least with him battling a AC shoulder sprain that has caused him to miss half of the season.

But now that he’s on the mend, he’ll have his moment to shine — likely earlier than he thought — to take on a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defensive front as he’ll be tasked with protecting T.J. Yates tomorrow afternoon.  This will be his first career start with the Houston Texans.

Jeff Allen, who had been starting at left tackle, is still in concussion protocol and likely won’t be cleared until this upcoming week at the earliest.  With all of the negative news coming out about the handling of player’s concussions — particularly with Tom Savage — the team wants to be even more careful about how they handle such a delicate situation.

But the 6’7,” 318-pound offensive lineman is now in the fold at left tackle, a position he is no stranger to as he was the featured left tackle at Bucknell U, a small school up in the Northeast that is better known for its basketball program.  In fact, he started all 44 of his games at the position and snagged away numerous honors each season in the Patriot League during his collegiate career.

For a guy that’s deeply-rooted out on the East Coast, he seems to be getting ingratiated with all the southern hospitality that he can handle here with the nurturing that has been provided for him to get even better.

The Chron’s Aaron Wilson writes that no matter the amazing size advantage that he has on his competition, he’s still continuing to improve his strength and footwork as well as to endeavor to

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keep his coverage at a lower pad level to be as most effective as possible.

He has flashed quite a bit this season and it’s not just the 34 he scored on the Wunderlich that proves he’s competent to learn and be an expert at the position.  It was his strong willpower for him to be patient to get his fair shake.

Although Pro Football Focus has given him an overall low grade of a 45.0 on the season, he’s still got plenty of time for him to improve at the position.  Out of 128 snaps, he’s taken 76 run block (42.6 grade) and 52 pass block snaps (46.2 grade).  He also was used earlier in the season as a blocking tight end when all three — C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson — were on the shelf. He’s proven that he’s at least versatile, a prerequisite to being part of the Houston Texans in the Bill O’Brien era.

Next: Jadeveon Clowney: From Bust to Superstar

With most of all in realization that the Houston Texans won’t be winning this Christmas Day match up, it will still be a breath of fresh air to see a rookie of Davenport’s stature get a personal win on his terms by overwhelmingly proving why he should be a part of this team.

We’ll have to see.

Go Texans.