Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile on defensive end Marcus Davenport breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and if he makes sense for the New York Jets.
The 2018 NFL Draft’s top defensive line prospect is easily Bradley Chubb. But, some have regarded former University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunner, Marcus Davenport, as one of the top options at that position. So, let’s take a look at the strengths, weaknesses and if he’ll end up wearing a New York Jets uniform.
Davenport’s draft stock has fluctuated as this year’s draft gets closer. He was projected high in the first round with South Carolina standout Bradley Chubb earlier this year. However, recent mock drafts have suggested that Chubb will be a top-five pick. Those same mocks seem to have Davenport projected in the middle/end of the first round.
There is no doubt that Davenport will go earlier rather than later. He is one of the most premier pass rushers on the board. The former Roadrunner is a physical freak, standing at 6-6 and 264 pounds. He has reportedly gained 30-pounds since his sophomore year of college.
Davenport performed decently enough at the 2018 NFL Combine. He ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash, 7.20-second three-cone drill, and a 4.41-second 20-yard shuttle. Those numbers were better than the ones that Chubb put up in those drills. But, Davenport didn’t only do well in the speed drills, he also showed how athletic he was with 22 bench press reps, a 33.5-inch vertical jump and a 124-inch broad jump.
Davenport’s numbers show how well he did at the combine, but he is still projected towards the back end of the first round. The 21-year old may be getting overlooked due to the conference he played in, which was Conference USA. Some people may find it hard to project him higher because he basically had the same stats that other defensive ends in the draft had, but Davenport played in a lesser conference.
He played four years at UTSA and tallied 21.5 sacks for his career. He also had a whopping 37.5 tackles for loss in that time. That is a lot of work and success getting into the backfield to make plays. In Davenport’s senior year, he had his best number with 8.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 11 games played.
You may be thinking, “How can he not be projected higher with his monster frame and some fairly dominant numbers? Regardless of the conference he played in?” To help you try and answer that, let’s look at his strengths and weaknesses.
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According to NFL.com, Davenport’s size and physique are his biggest assets. He uses his size and length as a tool as an edge rusher and shows the potential to get even better with coaching. The monstrous defensive end can set good edges with help from his long arms and he also shows some combos to get past offensive linemen.
Davenport has the ability to collapse on running lanes due to his lateral quickness. He also doesn’t shy away from contact and uses his hard-hitting skillset to take down ball carriers. When it comes to tackling, Davenport has minimal issues and will finish all hits. He has a strong and natural talent to change direction in order to find a path to the ball and will seemingly be a matchup nightmare for tight ends.
Davenport finds himself playing with a high pad level. But, this could probably be said for many young defensive ends. While finishing and finding tackles is a strength of his, he has issues shifting his weight and gathering himself to make open space tackles.
He has trouble getting himself to full speed without a runway and he struggles with accelerating in his pursuit. Oddly enough, he finds himself being blocked too often for his size and needs to be able to avoid full contact. The young edge rusher’s biggest weakness may be seen in his inability to drop down in coverage and find the ball on some passing plays. His edge rushing technique also needs work, and Davenport’s hand-feet coordination needs some development.
Davenport is projected to be selected between the first and second round. Mock drafts have him going in the middle to late first round. While he would be a tremendous asset on the Jets defensive line, they’ll more than likely use the No. 3 overall pick on a future franchise quarterback.
He may be a late-round gem because of all of his weaknesses which seem to be things that can be ironed out with isolated training. He shows strong potential and has a massive body that can one day be catastrophic to offensive lines.