Marcus Davenport is a three-year starter at outside linebacker for UTSA. As a strong side outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, he lined up off the edge from a 2 point stance. He projects as a 4-3 defensive end for the Lions, who met with him at the NFL Combine. He was a three-sport athlete in high school in track, basketball, and football, leaving high school as a 190-pound, 2-star recruit. He leaves college as UTSA’s all-time record holder in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hurries and could become a first round pick in April.
Davenport possesses prototypical measurables with good athletic ability through very good acceleration, foot speed, and explosion, solid quickness and change of direction, and adequate balance.
|Prospect (Last, First)
|Scout Name (Last, First)
|Height||Weight||40 YD||10 YD||Arm||Hand||Vert||3Cone||SS||Broad||Bench|
|6057||259 lbs.||4.58s||1.63s||33 5/8”||9 1/8”||33.5”||7.20s||4.41s||104”||22 reps|
Davenport keys to the snap to consistently get off the ball quickly with solid explosion from a 2 point stance. Although he doesn’t have a refined pass rush skill set yet, he goes into each play with a clear plan of attack. With excellent hand strength and quickness, he can jolt the set of lineman with his jabs into their chest, he runs his feet through contact to set up a devastating bull rush to consistently suffocate the pocket in all tapes viewed. He can refit his hands and fend off counter punches. When he beats the tackle to their spot, Davenport displays solid ability to run the arc; he utilizes his inside arm to clear the hands and keep his chest free with solid bendability to hold speed around the edge. He’s flashed the ability to win with swim and rip moves. He possesses the ball skills to go up and bat down passes or knock down the quarterback’s arm as he sets to pass. He occasionally caused damage moving inside on passing downs. Davenport plays with the relentless motor to make late in the down effort sacks when quarterback holds the ball. He saves his best for late game and two-minute situations.
Against the run, Davenport is a good edge setter that consistently wins the chest and can bench press college lineman to hold extension and play in control. He can create chaos for opposing offenses by getting penetration by side stepping blocks, bulling his man into the play, or slanting inside when his pad level is good. Davenport has very good foot speed to run down outside runs from the backside and make plays on the playside of screen passes. He learns from his mistakes as the games go on. He has enough athletic ability to drop into coverage and hold his own carrying the seam or dropping into the hook curl.
The level of competition that Davenport played against is an obvious concern. Davenport did not face NFL level offensive line talent in any of the tapes viewed and reportedly struggled early at the Senior Bowl in a setting that would better resemble the NFL level.
Davenport’s game suffers due to inconsistency in both his initial explosion off the ball as well as his pad level. When he’s playing high, he’s less effective as a power rusher. He’s unrefined with his hand usage and placement as a pass rusher and does not threaten with finesse moves at the moment. He doesn’t have well-developed counter moves at this stage. He’s more of a straight line player than a natural edge bender. He lacks the timing and lateral explosion to threaten in the twist game. When he gains penetration, Davenport throws his body into contact and fails to key to the hip to miss potential sacks. He winds up on the ground far more often that you’d like.
Against the run, Davenport doesn’t consistently identify the blocking scheme to give himself a clear plan of attack. He’ll bite on the zone read and hesitate when he sees play action. When he’s playing tall, Davenport can get moved off the ball against stronger lineman.
Although he played outside linebacker in college, Davenport projects to play strong side defensive end in the Lions defense. He’d immediately challenge for a starting role opposite of Ezekiel Ansah and could be an asset in year one against the run and could learn on the job as a pass rusher. If he can hone his pass rush skills to set up his trademark bullrush, he can become a dominant player. The jump to the NFL should be an adjustment, but with his top tier physical skillset he should hold up just fine at the next level.
Grade: 6.50(Potential Pro Bowler)