A Look At 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Marcus Davenport As A Potential Target For The Detroit Lions.
Marcus Davenport is a name that has been linked to the Detroit Lions since the beginning of the off-season. Part of the reason is there are some physical comparisons to Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah. Davenport is nearly 6’6″, weighs 264 lbs, and ran a 4.59 40-yard dash. He does have a rare blend of height, weight, speed that makes him a special athlete at defensive end. But that is where the comparisons end.
Why Davenport Is A “Boom-Bust” Prospect
While he may be an incredible athlete, he also incredibly raw in terms of technique. Hand usage is inconsistent, displays a really high pad level, often slow out of his stance, and has shown little to no counters or polished moves to this point. His main move is a rip and dip, to bend around the edge. But it does seem that maybe his only physical limitation is hip stiffness, which makes this move fail from time to time. This leaves his performances wildly inconsistent, which is not typically tolerated at the NFL level.
This play is a good example of his poor technique failing him, in spite of his apparent physical gifts. He is very slow out of his stance and stands almost straight up. This ruins almost all of the momentum generated from firing out of his stance. In spite of his long reach, he makes contact last at the point of attack, losing leverage. He tries to reset and fight through with his hands. However, he did a terrible job keeping his hips under him, further knocking him off balance. Davenport exacerbates the issue by narrowing his feet therefor weakening his base.
However, he make incredible splash plays on film, which really leaves you salivating at the potential he could have if he put it all together. He can win with both speed and power, which allowed him to dominate the competition he played at UTSA.
Ends up with a better first step on this play and more burst than you typically see from him. His rip and dip technique works well here because of the momentum generated from having a more explosive first step. He times his rip much better here by attacking before contact is made. This helps him rid himself of the extension by his opponent and frees him up for a powerful sack on the quarterback
When it comes down to it, the UTSA defensive end is a very tantalizing prospect because of how athletic he is and is still learning the game. It is likely he will only get better with time and proper coaching. The question will be how much better? Splash plays are nice, but inconsistent play leads to inconsistent production, which will make a career a short one. Because of the liability he will create in the running game and on early downs, it may be likely Detroit goes another direction with their first round selection. But Matt Patricia’s coaching staff appears the type of group that could develop a player with Marcus Daveport’s skill set.