At 6’6 260, Kellen Davis has the size and the potential to be a surprise at the tight end position. All that was holding him back was the man who downright loathes the tight end position named Mike Martz. With Martz gone, everything was going to change for Davis. He was going to catch at least 40 passes and the Bears were going to have a diamond in the rough.
These were the thoughts pumped out by the Bears propaganda machine that I have to admit even I bought into a little bit. I didn’t think he was going to be the next Antonio Gates, but I thought given a chance in new offense that didn’t treat the position like a leper, he would put up decent numbers.
About that…. I think it is about to time to declare this a failed experiment.
Through six games, the former Spartan has been targeted 20 times. That is good for 32nd among tight ends in the league. Out of 20 targets, Davis has hauled in just nine receptions which is 39th. That gives him a percentage of targets that result in a catch of 45%. Again compared to all tight ends in football that ranks him 75th.
If you are scoring at home there are only 32 teams in the National Football League. Teams’ second tight ends are having better outputs than the Bears starter. There are no more excuses that the tight end is being under-utilized. The fact of the matter is, Davis is not getting open and when he does he is not coming down with the football.
It was never more apparent that Davis isn’t getting open more than the Monday night game with the Lions. After a first half of Brandon Marshall shredding the Detroit secondary, they made an adjustment and brought safety help over. This is the tight end’s dream situation. Hit the seam where the safety used to be and make them pay for it.
Problem is it never happened.
Davis is looking to join a long list of players who’s production never matched their perceived ability based on measurables. A 6’6 man who ran a better 40 time than Fred Davis, John Carlson and Martellus Bennett in the 2008 draft class was looking like a potential sleeper. Five years later it’s time to take these thoughts out back and shoot them.
In a time in the NFL where the tight end may never have been stronger, the Bears have one of the least productive at the position. At age 27 in his fifth year we were foolish to think he was all of a sudden going to tap his potential, but he was the only option and now we can close the book.
For 2012, the Bears are going to have to live with what they have, but it will need to be addressed in the offseason. It’s not a strong tight end draft class, with Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert looking like the only sure thing. The free agent class will be led by Fred Davis and Bennett.
Obviously Chicago has a playoff run on their mind this year, but the position will need to be addressed in the offseason because Davis is proving he is not the answer.