NFL Draft Prospect Breakdown: Marcus Davenport

Other Breakdowns

Quenton Nelson – 93/100
Saquon Barkley
 – 92/100
Tremaine Edmunds – 89/100
Bradley Chubb – 89/100
Derwin James – 88/100
Roquan Smith – 87/100
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 87/100
Harold Landry – 85/100
Rashaan Evans – 84/100
Will Hernandez – 84/100
Baker Mayfield
 – 84/100
Sam Darnold – 83/100
Josh Rosen – 83/100
Lamar Jackson – 82/100
Calvin Ridley – 81/100
Josh Allen – 77/100
Leighton Vander Esch – 77/100

Stats, Awards, and Accolades

davenport

*All Stats via sports-reference.com*

Class: Senior
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 264 lbs

Marcus Davenport is raw, and he played against weak competition, but my oh my are those stats alluring. Davenport increased his tackles for loss and sacks every year at UTSA, and his 22 career sacks ranks 10th in Conference USA history. Davenport’s 4.58 40 yard dash time at 264 pounds ranked in the 95th percentile among edge rushers, and while he did not face top-level competition weak in and week out, you cannot deny those numbers.

For this breakdown, I rewatched two of his games against in-state foes: Texas State and North Texas. These offenses ranked 115th and 28th respectively in Bill Connelly’s defensive rankings, so I really got to see how he performed against both ends of the spectrum. Measuring someone’s production levels against the competition they play is always hard, but especially so for edge rushers when size and speed are so important.

Pros

Big upside
Great first punch
Awesome run defender
Scheme versatile
Good closing speed
Strong
Violent hands
Flips hips consistently
Good angles
Good size

Cons

Very raw
Need development
Not a great lateral mover
Struggles in coverage
Faced weak competition
Lacks pass-rushing moves
Doesn’t know how to jump a snap

Grades

Hand Use/Pass Rush Moves – 7.5/10
Bend/Speed – 8.5/10
Run Defense – 9/10

Scheme Fits

4-3 Defensive End – 9.5/10
3-4 Line Backer – 6.5/10

Overall Grade: 82/100

A reminder, this where I think he should go, not where he will go, these rankings also DO NOT take into account positional importance

90+ Superstar
85+ Elite Player (Top Ten)
80+ First Round Talent
77+ Second Round Talent
74+ Third Round Talent
66+ Third Day Talent (Rounds 4-7)

10/10 Rating – Best in the class or close to it
7.5/10 Rating – Average
5/10 Rating – Poor

Clearly, Marcus Davenport has the size and speed to be one of the top edge rushers in this class, and I gave him a first-round grade, but he is still very raw. Davenport has a great opening punch and can get to the quarterback, but at times he relies too heavily on his natural athleticism when facing weak competition. Davenport does not really possess a repertoire of moves, and while he will get there with time, do you really want to spend a top-20 pick on a guy you will have to develop for a few years. Davenport has good, natural instincts. He flips his hips well, and certainly plays with violent hands. I would say that he has the makings to become a fantastic pass rusher at the NFL level, but he will have to learn some additional pass rush moves because by watching the tape you can tell that if Davenport’s initial burst is not enough, he rarely comes prepared with a backup plan.

Don’t get me wrong, Davenport has All-Pro potential, but he is not even close to being there yet. The UTSA edge has a great chance to get there with time, and the change from Conference-USA coaching to NFL level coaching will certainly help him, but I would wait until the latter stages of the first round to pick him. Davenport’s natural ability will certainly be enticing to some teams, but do you really want to reach on a guy you will have to develop for a few years instead of playing it safe? I would expect him to go right around where I would have him pegged, in the 20’s. He is one of the few NFL scouts and I agree on.

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