2018 Draft Preview: Marcus Davenport – UTSA

When you think of the Green Bay Packers draft needs, pass rusher has to be at the top of the list. While the temptation may be to look exclusively at the players you saw on big matchups on national television, or in the College Football Playoffs, one of the most intriguing edge players in the draft is from the University of Texas – San Antonio.

Marcus Davenport is a 6’7” 255 pound Defensive End/Outside Linebacker who is an absolute freak physical specimen. There were thoughts in early Fall that he might be a sleeper pick the draft. However, people around the league have woken up to Davenport, and he should be firmly planted in the first round. In fact, if there’s one concern I have from the Packers perspective, it is that he may climb even higher than 14 after what should be a very impressive showing at the Combine.

When watching tape of UTSA, you will immediately recognize which player he is. 93 jumps off the film creating impact plays in both the running and passing game. He’ll blow by a tackle on one play, and then straight bull rush him on the next. In case people think he was a flash-in-the-pan, he was one of the highest rated college OLBs according to Pro Football Focus in 2016, and this year he was one of the top DEs.

If there is a knock on Davenport it is the lack of development of multiple pass rush moves. He is a Wide Receiver convert, so you would expect a learning curve at the pro level. However, I see all the tools that Ezekiel Ansah possessed coming out of college, and can see a similar career ark for Davenport. He’ll have to rely on his physical tools early, but once he figures out the technique portion of the game, he’s going to be unstoppable. And those around him rave about his character and work ethic, which makes him a great fit as a football player and in the Green Bay community.

Green Bay has often relied on drafting players with high football IQs and technique. I think it is time to be more aggressive in acquiring elite athletic talent. I think it’s possible Marcus Davenport is a great combination of both. Putting him in a situation where he can learn from Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Mike Daniels, and Kenny Clark could help the Packers to generate the kind of pass rush it will take to fix their defense. And giving Mike Pettine a weapon to terrorize opposing QBs on 3rd down would be a terrific investment of the 14th pick.

Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig

19 thoughts on “2018 Draft Preview: Marcus Davenport – UTSA

  1. ” Green Bay has often relied on drafting players with high football IQs and technique.”

    If this is true, just how complicated was the Capers scheme….apparently Astro-Physicist need only apply.

    1. I’m thinking of players like AJ Hawk, Jake Ryan, Dean Lowry, Damarious Randall, Kyler Fackrell, James Jones, Richard Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Jamaal Williams, Jordy, etc. All guys who would not be considered elite athletes, but have mixed results in the NFL.
      I’d like to see them take a chance on a few more athletes and coach them up.

        1. 4.87 40 yard dash, 30 reps on bench press, 32.5 inch vertical, 7.26 second 3 cone.
          He’s an okay athlete for an NFL d-lineman. But I disagree on the elite statement.

            1. They are terrific for a normal person, but they’re pretty average for an NFL defensive lineman.

              Aaron Donald (the gold standard) was 4.68, 35 reps, 32 inch vertical, 7.11 3 cone. Don’t get me wrong, I like Lowry. I just don’t view him as an elite athlete in the NFL.

            2. 4.87 for a 290+ guy is not average for an NFL defensive lineman. He was in the top 3 of his draft for size/weight/speed. Aaron Donald is a complete freak, but he’s so far past the crowd it’s not worth talking about.

  2. Looks like he got pushed around on run plays to his side. Good athlete, speed bullrush… but what else??? There is a reason why he went to UTSA.

    1. He went to UTSA because he was a 190 pound Wide Receiver coming out of high school. School doesn’t always equate ability. Khalil Mack went to Buffalo.

  3. Anybody watched the YouTube video? He seems like a perfect Packer, he doesn’t make that many plays and keeps getting washed up in the middle by blockers. At 14, we could do a lot better.

    1. Ouch…I’ll have to check those out because you’re right..at 14 we need a guy who can hold the edge AND rush the passer. Having more than one or two pass rush moves or at least the makings of multiple moves would be nice too.

    1. I disagree with the draft board on him. Consider level of competition first. Then hands, moves, and MOTOR!!

      1. Lets watch him at the Senior Bowl before knocking him down. Texas – San Antonio is still an FBS school. Mack played at Buffalo and that turned out pretty good for the Raiders. I don’t know enough about him YET, but I’m not going to disqualify him because of where he played, not yet anyways.

  4. We need a solid edge rusher now, not a developmental edge rusher!! Remember also his level of competition! I question this one.

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