It took three years, but the New Orleans Saints finally got a defensive end in Marcus Davenport.
The Saints were in the market for a trade in the first round on Thursday night and found a trade partner in the Green Bay Packers who had the 14th overall pick. The Saints traded their 27th pick, a fifth rounder (#147), and their first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft
Height: 6’6″ Weight: 264 lbs
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The former UTSA Roadrunner had a solid final season, racking up 55 total tackles, 17 of which were for a loss, 8.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He is a very raw player, but Davenport grades out as one of the top picks at the defensive end position.
According to Pro Football Focus, he had the best pass rush productivity amongst other draft eligible 4-3 defensive ends. Pairing him with Cam Jordan could work wonders for him, helping him develop into a solid edge rusher on the right side, which is where Sean Payton feels like he would fit in.
UTSA head coach Frank Wilson: “He knows how to use his hands, how to counter an offensive lineman’s set. The times that he’s done that are truly minute in the grand scheme of things when you think of defensive line play or edge rushing. I think his upside is out the roof because he sees himself as a constant work in progress.”
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: “He was a guy that we felt strongly enough about. Fits a must position as well, we see him at the right defensive end position.”
Marcus Davenport: “I think it’s a great choice, I’m really happy to be a part of this family. I can’t wait to go win.”
Did You Know? Marcus Davenport’s father’s side is from New Orleans. His grandfather Dr. Artis Davenport was the track and field coach at Dillard and SUNO.
Overall Grade: A
The Saints have had a tendency to trade up and this addressed a big need and shows that this is a franchise looking towards another Super Bowl run. All signs seemed to point toward the Saints drafting Lamar Jackson after they traded up, but the Saints avoided the sexy pick and got the pick that makes an already good defense better.