The Indianapolis Colts have made a few more depth signings in this 2021 Free Agency class, singing Julie’n Davenport and Joey Hunt to one-year deals. Hunt is coming off a stint with the Colts where he spent a majority of the season on the Practice Squad but did log 10 snaps with the team in week 14 against the Raiders. Davenport started eight games for the Miami Dolphins in 2019 before becoming a reserve tackle with only 53 total snaps in 2020.
Since both of these players are minor signings at best with a small chance at making the 53 man roster, I will just be doing a quick film room on the two players.
Starting with the bigger name signing, Davenport was a fourth-round selection by the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft. After an atrocious season in 2018, in which he allowed 12 sacks and had 16 penalties as the starting right tackle, he was released by the team and scooped up by the Miami Dolphins. He started eight games for the Dolphins in 2019, allowing 6 sacks and 31 hurries in those starts.
When it comes to the Davenport signing, I honestly have no clue where the upside is with it. He has excellent size and length but that is really where the positives end. He is a clunky athlete with slow feet, which allows speed rushers to easily beat him around the edge. He also doesn’t have the strength to cover up that weakness in his movement skills (had one of the worst bench presses in history for an OT with just 17 reps).
The Colts worked out OT Julie'n Davenport. Davenport has started in 8 games in 2019 for the Dolphins, allowing 6 sacks, 9 QB Hits, and 16 hurries. pic.twitter.com/IglQZYsKqM— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 18, 2021
His best career game came this past season against the Seahawks where he logged 25 snaps in reserve and allowed zero pressures in the game. Even in this game, where he didn’t allow any pressures, I still couldn’t really get into his play. He is just so sluggish and I think a lot of his success in this game came from quick passes from the Dolphins’ offense. I will say the biggest positive is that he seems to perform best when he is able to quickly jump defensive ends, which is exactly what the Colts do with their scheme. So, that’s a plus, at least.
Julie'n Davenport can at least perform okay against power rushers. His best game of his career was probably last year against the Seahawks in reserve, where he played 25 snaps and didn't allow a pressure..— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 24, 2021
Even in his best clips, he looks like he's moving in slow motion pic.twitter.com/8vWIMWWeYV
As a run blocker, it is even worse than his ability in pass protection. He plays extremely high (which is easy when you are 6’6”) and that allows defenders to punch him quickly inside for leverage. He also rarely gets any positive push and is more likely to get knocked down than to drive his defender. Maybe he can be serviceable if he cuts some weight and brings his pad level down a bit, but I doubt he makes the roster out of training camp (unless there are injuries across the offensive line).
Julie'n Davenport is so tough to watch in run blocking. Gets no push at all and gets popped/stood up quite a bit.— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 29, 2021
I really miss watching Sam Tevi film at this point pic.twitter.com/ZxkAHNVWPk
Hunt is a bit of a lesser-known player than Davenport. Joey Hunt was a sixth-round pick for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2016 NFL Draft. He had a fairly below-average career in Seattle, as he started in the 2019 season and allowed three sacks in 445 pass blocking snaps. He was subsequently released after the season and the Colts picked him up for their Practice Squad prior to the year. He did make the roster for a few weeks and logged 10 snaps on the year.
This signing is one I totally get as Hunt is an experienced interior lineman with some upside. He is a good athlete on film and has no issues climbing to the next level and getting out in space on outside runs. The best part of his game, though, is his eye discipline as he is great at identifying twists and stunts in the passing game. While he struggles with strength on the interior (and that is what ultimately will always keep him as a depth player), I do like him as a depth player on this team. Here are all of his snaps on offense for the Colts in 2020:
Re-signing Joey Hunt made a lot of sense to me. Good athlete with great eyes for stunts and twists. Not an overly strong player which prevents him from being a starter type but I like him for depth. Here is every snap he logged last year: pic.twitter.com/cqMeViUvAG— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 29, 2021
The Colts got burned last season when they neglected their offensive line depth going into the year, so, at the very least, the Colts showing the desire to sign bodies on the offensive line does indicate that they are trying to right that mistake.
The Davenport signing is a tough one for me because I don’t really see the upside in it. If he had great strength then I could buy into it. If he had great athleticism, like Sam Tevi, then I could buy into it. However, he doesn’t possess much of anything outside of arm length (36.5” arms!) and height. I’m super skeptical that the signing turns into anything but I would love to be wrong on that.
The Hunt signing makes a ton of sense to add a veteran who has played and has good athleticism to develop on. He may not see the field but it is good to have a player in the same mold as Danny Pinter be the guy right behind him on the depth chart. These are unremarkable signings that don’t move the needle in any way other than filling out the roster before Training Camp.