I knew very little about defensive end Marcus Davenport prior to the start of the season. All I knew is that he was a very talented guy that didn’t play college football at a top program. He played at University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). Once the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention, I started my draft research. The Packers are in desperate need of an impact player that can rush the quarterback. I kept seeing Marcus Davenport’s name associated with the Packers, so I started to look into him more. He passes the eye test with flying colors.
Davenport stands 6’6 and weighs 255 pounds. That frame alone is enough to catch a scout’s attention. Has good lateral quickness and can change direction with relative ease. The lateral quickness is important for maneuvering down the line of scrimmage to help in the run game. Has the ability to use a speed or power rush. Meaning he is fast enough to run by blockers, and he is strong enough to run through them. He is still relatively raw, but has the straits that with some NFL coaching, he could become an impact player.
Like a lot of raw guys out of college, Davenport tends to play with an “elevated pad level” or stands straight up too much. He is an aggressive hitter, which is a good thing, but not always. Instead of avoiding blockers at times, he always takes them on. That could be the difference between making the play or not. The instinctual things Davenport lacks could be an issue, but everything else is fixable with good coaching.
When will he be drafted?
Davenport had a strong showing at the senior bowl that ultimately solidified his spot in the first round. Both of ESPN’s college football draft experts (McShay and Kiper) have the Packers taking him at 14 in their most recent mock drafts. Will he go as high as 14? Time will tell, but it is a pretty safe bet that Davenport will hear his name called in the first round.
How does he fit on the Packers?
He would fit the Packers very well. The Packers haven’t had a consistent pass rusher since prime Clay. Nick Perry isn’t bad, but he is always hurt and isn’t consistent enough. Adding a guy like Davenport would take some of the pressure off of 52 and 53. The Packers have taken a defensive player with their first pick the last six years. With this being Brian Gutekunst’s first pick as GM, it will be interesting to see if he follows in the same path.