Kellen Davis didn’t get many chances to shine in Mike Martz’s offense last season.
Davis took over as the starting tight end after the Bears decided to trade away former first-round pick Greg Olsen during the off-season.
Davis started 15 games while reeling in 18 balls for 206 yards and five touchdowns.
At 6’7″, Davis is a real threat in the red zone due to his big frame. He causes matchup problems for many defenses.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2008 out of Michigan State, Davis was drafted as a defensive end. The Bears quickly moved him to tight end where he spent a lot of his collegiate career playing.
In 48 career games Davis has caught 28 passes for 300 yards and nine touchdowns.
He averaged 12.9 yards per game and 11.4 yards per catch last season.
Davis should be excited for the upcoming season under Coach Mike Tice and Coach Jeremy Bates. Also, with the addition of Brandon Marshall it could open up more down the field for the tight ends.
In 2008, Bates helped lead a pass-happy attack in Denver that saw Jay Cutler excel at throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall and the two tight ends Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham.
Scheffler and Graham combined for 72 catches and over 1,000 yards receiving that season.
Davis should feel comfortable that his workload will increase with former TE Mike Tice running the offense and former Broncos coach Jeremy Bates doing well with Cutler in the past.
Davis missed most of the OTAs with a back injury, but returned on Wednesday and should be back to full strength by the start of veteran mini-camp next Tuesday.
Matt Spaeth, Kyle Adams and Evan Rodriguez are the other tight ends vying for playing time this season.
Spaeth was signed mainly as a blocking tight end and should see a similar role. Adams is a second-year player, who was impressive as undrafted free agent last pre-season. Rodriguez is a fourth-round pick, who should get his opportunity as a tight end and H-back.
Davis would “like to have between 40 and 60 catches at least” this upcoming season. The Chicago Tribune reports he turned down an initial offer from the Dallas Cowboys at the start of free agency because the Bears “came through with the offer.”
Can Kellen Davis join the likes of Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis or Antonio Gates this season? Can he even crack the top 10 list of tight ends?
We’ll just have to wait and see. The sky is the limit for the fifth-year player, who is surrounded by some great talent on offense this upcoming season.