Julién Davenport looking to make history at 2017 NFL Draft

Mar 3, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Bucknell offensive lineman Julie'n Davenport squares off in the mirror drill against San Diego State offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Bucknell offensive lineman Julie'n Davenport squares off in the mirror drill against San Diego State offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Julién Davenport will be the highest drafted Bucknell Bison player in the modern NFL era. He took some time to chat with NFL Mocks’ Sayre Bedinger…

The Bucknell Bison are no strangers to an ‘upset’ in Spring. Pulling off the improbable in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament seems much more likely, however, than anyone from their football team getting drafted into the NFL. Offensive tackle Julién Davenport is looking to set a brand new mark for the Bison football program.

No one from Bucknell has been drafted since quarterback Sam Havrilak in 1969. Back then, there was still an eighth round of the draft, which is where Havrilak was taken.

The small school from Lewisburg, PA with a stadium that seats just over 13,000 is not known for pumping out NFL talent, as they have had just one player reach the NFL (defensive end Sean Conover) since 2006.

In other words, when Julién Davenport is drafted, it will be an historic moment, to say the least. The 6-foot-7, 318 pound offensive tackle is projected to go anywhere from the 3rd-5th round, depending on which analyst/scout you listen to. How did someone so big end up somewhere so small?

Given two stars coming out of high school, the recruitment of this future NFL tackle was light. He talked about his process in selecting Bucknell in an exclusive interview with NFLMocks.com.

“I had committed to Old Dominion University real early in my high school career,” Davenport recalled. “I wanted to still be recruited off my verbal commitment, but I was starting to lose some of the interest from schools so I de-committed, and when it came down to it, Bucknell was my final choice.”

That decision turned out just fine for Davenport, who was an All-Conference player every year he was on campus, and was named an All-American in 2016. In fact, Davenport has been so good, he was named to the Walter Peyton Award watch list this past year, the award given to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS.

His dominance at Bucknell earned him a trip to Mobile, Alabama for this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he opened a lot of eyes with his size, length, and ability to adapt to the new level of competition. He said the Senior Bowl was a fantastic experience, one where you are looking to impress NFL teams no matter if you’re on the field or off of it.

“It’s just a constant job interview. Everyone’s looking at you and how you act, getting all the information they can about you.”

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Playing in the Senior Bowl, then turning around and performing for NFL scouts at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the offseason is a tough period for a draft prospect. Between interviews with teams and the Pro Day, there’s not a whole lot of time to rest and recharge before April’s draft. Davenport has been doing everything in his power to ready himself for the rigors of an NFL schedule.

“I’ve been constantly working out, and practicing my game. I’m trying to get my technique better to get ready for the next level. I think I’ve been doing well in the interview process. I’ve just been preparing myself, and doing everything I can to be prepared coming into the next level.”

One very critical trait Davenport has in his favor is leadership. He was a two-time team captain at Bucknell, and a 44-game starter. He strives to always set the example of hard work, which has helped him both on and off the field.

“I always want to do everything how it’s supposed to be done. I want to set a good example for those around me and those coming in. People can see everything I do. I’m always under a magnifying glass. You always have to make sure everything’s perfectly fine with the way you present yourself. I’ve been real good about that throughout my entire life.”

The Bucknell pro day was on March 17th, so Davenport has finally completed the toughest stretch of his offseason work. The next part of the process, in addition to working out and getting ready physically, will be taking visits to NFL teams and interviewing with coaches.

Davenport is looking forward to the high level of competition in the NFL.

Next: Julién Davenport scouting report

“(I’m looking forward to ) Playing against some of the best competition in the world. I’m very competitive, and I want to be one of the best to go down. So, I can’t wait to go against the best.”

At the Scouting Combine, Davenport said he met formally with five different teams, including the Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos. He feels good about the way his meetings with teams have gone thus far, and said that it’s pretty surreal to be in the room with some of these coaches and general managers.

“You have to be on your game. It’s definitely a great experience being in a room with John Elway and the rest of the staff. It’s definitely out of the ordinary. It’s not something everyone gets to do. I felt like I was responding effectively to everything they asked me, and I felt real good about it.”

Davenport will almost undoubtedly wind up being the highest drafted player from Bucknell in the modern NFL era. He’s as physically gifted as they come, and when he gets coached up on some technique by an NFL offensive line coach, the sky is the limit.

There’s no doubt he has Pro Bowl potential as a tackle, and in a class of players that isn’t exactly renown at the tackle position, Davenport stands out in more ways than one.