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#14 Saints: DE Marcus Davenport

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Overview
A three-year starter at UTSA, Davenport started his career as a spindly project, but packed on the pounds without losing his athleticism, developing into the most productive pass rusher in school history.

Davenport rushed from both sides of the formation in college and looked most comfortable when standing up on the edges. His hoops background is evident with his natural athleticism and balance to create pressure off the edge and force quarterbacks to move their feet. Davenport’s raw power is clear, but his pad level and pass rush technique are both areas that require development before he will get the best of NFL offensive tackles.

BACKGROUND
Davenport grew up focusing on basketball before he was lured to the football field in high school as a wide receiver. He developed into an All-District pass rusher at Stevens while also earning district defensive player of the year honors in basketball and area qualifier in the 1,600-meter relay.

Davenport spent his true freshman season as a reserve and recorded 14 tackles and 3.0 sacks. He became a sophomore starter and earned Honorable Mention All-CUSA honors with 49 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks. Davenport started 12 of 13 games as a junior and led the team with 6.5 sacks, adding 68 tackles and 10.0 tackles for loss to earn Second Team All-CUSA honors. He had his most productive season as a senior and was named CUSA Defensive Player of the Year with 55 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles to earn First Team All-CUSA honors.

Analysis
Physically impressive with a developed, muscular frame. Excellent arm length and wingspan. Coordinated athlete with nimble feet and upfield acceleration. Loose-hipped and flexible mover. Converts speed to power with his initial quickness, forward lean and physical attitude. Uses first step momentum to power through gaps. Looks to incorporate rip moves. Detaches from blockers using his long levers, creating holding calls on the offense. Experienced dropping and covering space. Improved edge setter to contain vs. the run. Arrives at the ballcarrier with purpose and finishing strength. Added 60-pounds of good weight and developed his body over the last four years. Fully invested in football with excellent work habits. Goal-oriented mentality and took 18 credit hours during the Fall 2017 semester to graduate (Dec. 2017) ahead of schedule. Production climbed each season, leaving UTSA with the program records for sacks (22.0) and tackles for loss (38.0). – Dane Brugler 1/29/2018

WEAKNESSES
Plays tall and moves tall, causing his pass rush to stall. Relies more on his lower body than upper body to beat blockers. Immature hand usage and doesn’t display a cohesive rush plan. Predictable swim and spin moves. Undeveloped counter measures and overthinks instead of reacting. Power mentality and would benefit with added finesse to his rush moves. Needs to do a better job breaking down in space to finish ballcarriers. Fooled by misdirection and needs to sharpen his ball awareness. Would like to see more of a nasty mindset. – Dane Brugler 1/29/2018

COMPARES TO
Ziggy Ansah, Detroit Lions – With his impressive physical traits and meager football experience before college, Ansah was a similar prospect as Davenport when he went through the draft process due to the impressive athleticism, but raw tools.

IN OUR VIEW
Davenport isn’t a technically proficient pass rusher and requires time to best understand how to use his toolsy skill-set, but he has all the physical traits of a starting NFL pass rusher and his work ethic paired with NFL coaching could lead to big things.