Expert Opinion: Marcus Davenport
“Hey, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I have to be healthy,” is how Marcus Davenport responded to being asked, what kind of fruit would he be? Pretty clever answer to such a silly question, but I guess that’s Marcus for you.
Not only is he clever, but he is a heck of a football player and is expected to be a first-round draft pick. Davenport has a ridiculous combination of size and speed for an athlete coming in at 6’6″ and 259 pounds. He’s was a four-year college athlete at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
As a true freshman, he only played in eight games, but he blossomed once he cemented himself as a starter. He increased his numbers each season and in 11 games as a senior racked up 17.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks (both single-season UTSA records). Freakish numbers for a freak athlete, but wait, there is more. In four seasons, he accumulated a whopping 185 tackles and set school records with 38 tackles for a loss and 21.5 sacks in his career.
It also helps that Davenport shined at the NFL combine. His 4.58 second 40-yard dash was the fastest time among defensive linemen. His broad jump of 124″ was good for second. He had the third fastest cone drill time of 7.20 seconds and tied fourth (with Bradley Chubb) with a 20-yard shuttle run time of 4.41 seconds. I believe Marcus solidified his first-round draft projection.
This kid can walk into the building and probably start the first day. He was a stand-up rusher at UTSA but also has the versatility to be used as a 4-3 defensive end. He possesses all the physical tools (size, speed, strength and length) to be an elite pass rusher. He just needs to be coached up a little to even out the rough edges. Davenport has a habit of playing too high and allows blockers to get the leverage. He must learn how to slip contact and close off outside runs consistently. All these issues or concerns can be fixed by coaching so it shouldn’t affect his draft status too much.
In this video clip you will see the how quick Davenport can get around the edge to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks:
In this video, you will see Davenport as a stand-up rusher. You will also see him use his strength and speed to bully through the line and use his long arms to deflect passes. He once again displays quickness around the edge: