Marcus Davenport-

 DE San Antonio

6-5.7", 259, 34" Arms (U), #93 

The Best Surprise In This Draft. 

By TOM

Combine: His 4.61 is a great number. Then getting a 4.5 next to his name was as good as it gets. He needed to show he is the elite athlete he showed on Tape. He did that at the Combine. He is a small school projects that has already moved past that at the Senior Bowl. He just keeps dominating the post season. Terrific in space drill. He will be picked up by a 3-4 teams to play OLB. Great moving laterally. Nice bend through Rip. Quick and fast in stack and shed. Smooth athlete. Great quick feet. He was so smooth and natural in drop dill. Much better in hybrid drills. He looked like he played safety as some point. He was excellent in coverage. Great quicks opening hips. 

He was an OLB in a two-point in college, and he can really run. "When Marcus was little, he used to like to chase rabbits," his Dad Ron said. "He would always come close and almost catch them." Too often grabbed blockers rather then tried to shed, and get past them. 

He has so much potential that it is frustrating how he deals with blockers sometimes. Right now he is an inside rusher only, (he pushes the OTs back, and then break inside of them to the QB). But if he can learn to use his hands, and find a rip, dip, or dip and rip, he could be special. 

He primarily used speed and power to shove the OT back, but doesn't seem to understand how to take one of their shoulders with speed. Which is odd because he showed that skill in 2016. He can use his heavy hands on a push pull on the edge. Needs to be slipperier. 

He lined up primarily as a stand up rusher. He does a good job hustling down field after the RB when he ran to the other side. He played with elite speed in 2016. Reads run fast, and does a good job shuffling done the line. Played with good technique. He has some heavy hands, and can pop the OLT up and off balance with his initial hit, and bull him back into the QB. Reminded me a little physically of McGinest in 2017. He played with elite strength and power. 

He didn't look as strong as you need to play in the NFL in 2016. "After we started playing, the coaches decided that my weight would come," Davenport said in 2016. "They told me, We just need you to progress on the field." But he may have went a little overboard in the weight room, and looked like he lost some agility in 2017. 

He will struggle to slip the RB picking him up. Sometimes seemed more interested in fighting the blocker than finding the ball carrier. He is a beast when a team lets him free inside. He will find the QB and crush him when he has a path. Played on a bad ankle this past season, and it really hurt his speed. When he was successful shoving off the OL, with a two-handed shove (his one move) he finds the ball. 

He is constant motion. He will not lose for wont of trying. "When I feel like sleeping, I go eat something right before I go to bed," Davenport said about gaining over 30-pounds of muscle during his Junior and Senior seasons. "Any time I even think about eating, I just go and eat." He hustles, hits, and hurt guys all over the field. He lined up on both sides of the ball, and stunted inside a lot. 

2017:

Amazing hop upfield past the RB trying to block him. Too often grabbed blockers rather then tried to shed them, and get past them. He has so much potential that it is frustrating how he deals with blockers sometimes. By the end of 2017 he looked more like an inside rusher than an edge guy. But if he can learn to use his hands, and find a rip, dip, or dip and rip, he could be special. 

Not a bad stunter, but is often unaware of blockers inside as he stares at the ball carrier. He just doesn't know how to use his hands well enough in the rush. He has everything you want in an edge rusher, but had no clue how to use his hands. He will need a year or two of technique work to reach his potential. 

He can set the edge with a great power shove up (almost his only move), force the RB inside, and then get inside and hit him. Very powerful kid. Nice job powering the OT back into the QB, and getting a hand up to knock down the pass. Liked to rush inside more than outside. Lines up in front of OT more than outside the OT. 

Terrific job setting the edge on his side. Nice speed and angle running downfield after RB on runs away. Loves his speed to power. He consistently knocked OTs back. He needs to shed them more consistently. Not always aware of blockers on his side. He gets stuffed by the OG beside him consistently. 

Senior Bowl Notes:

NFL guys love this kid, and consistently put him in the top 16. He has some nice length and burst. He is an all out all the time guy. Great hands. Knows how to use his long arms. When he uses his hands he looks like an NFL player. Nice double slap on the outside arm of ORT. He needs more moves. When I watched him play he had one move that he used to hit the QB against smaller school competition. 

He is an elite physical talent. He ran the arc for a sack in team drills. He shot off the line like a rocket in a 2-Point stance. He looked like he had the speed and agility of 2016, with the strength and power of 2017, which would make him a top ten pick in this Draft. They moved him inside on Day One, but he is an OLB not a DL. 

Nice arm club on the outside arm of the ORT. He got a Sack in two-minute drills with a speed rush, where he turned the corner and punched the QB down. That was the most important thing he did at the Senior Bowl. He showed he had his 2016 speed back. Then he hit the QB's arm on the next throw. He had to show he can get to the QB against top comp, and he did on the final day of Senior Bowl practice. 

Game: Nobody improved more from Day-1 of practice to the Game. He looked like an NFL player in the game. He had added multiple moves and counters that he just didn't have at San Antonio. He is a top two Edge guy in this Draft and might be Number One if you think he can improved exponentially like he did in one week at the SB. He took to coaching from the DL coach better than anyone I've see. 

They moved him inside on Day One, as a 3-Tech. He figured out how to dip around the corner. He used his inside hand to slap the inside shoulder of the OG, and break inside. He became a 3-Tech rusher during the week. He found a Rip, and became a real Edge guy, and not just a guy who overwhelmed small school OTs (and NFL OGs) with his size, strength, and speed. He got the pressure that led to a sack to start 2nd. He forced the QB to step up, and the two LSU DTs sacked him. 

He may have worked himself over Chubb in the Senior Bowl. I criticized him for lack of moves, but he took a dip and rip in that game that OTs couldn't touch. He brought a bend around the corner I never saw. He took the arc agility of Von to the Senior Bowl. He seemed to get to the QB every other time he rushed. Nice speed to power to shove the ORT back and get to the QB, which was his pet move at San Antonio. He was so dominate, the North team had to scheme against him, and was chipping on him in the 3rd quarter.

He was so good playing in balance with his hands and feet in the SB game that he looked like a different person. He looked like a top ten pick in the SB Game. He did not in 2017. He will be the first non-QB taken in this year's Draft (I might have gotten a little too excited there;). I was shocked how much he showed up in the rush lined up inside. That adds so much to his NFL potential that I don't know how to quantify it.

Davenport Vs Baylor 2017:

He was primarily a stand up 3-4 OLB (:01). Can he put speed to power. Watch the tight end's head snap back, and then the shrug to throw him to the ground. That is an elite power move (:07). He didn't always see it the way you need him to see it (:14). He didn't read run until he was sealed. But he doesn't stay sealed for long. When he sees it, he can get to the ball.

He never saw the H-back on the crack back block, but he took the hit and shed him quick (:21). Great look at his speed to power, and his heavy hands. But with every good thing with him there is a negative (:29). He struggled with that second move during the season, and often struggled to shed OTs.

Watch the impact of Davenport's power on the ORT. Watch his head snap back like whiplash, and his body shake, rattle, and roll (:47). He stunted inside, and grabbed two blockers, to free the outside blitzer. Stunting is a two player move. Stunting is the ability to move laterally and then up field to the QB. But it is also just as important as the other stunter, who grabs, hits, and/or occupies the blockers to free up the other stunter (1:02). That is a great example of Davenport stunting to free up two teammates and not himself. 

Here he is in coverage. Not the niftiest, but as a 3-4 Edgerusher dropping that is pretty good (1:07). I like how he attacks OT's arms, but he has to have a combo move off that arm grab. Which he didn't show until the Senior Bowl game (1:14). He is such a smooth athlete moving laterally (1:22). You can see a shove into a Rip (1:34). A dip and a rip are what he needs most to succeed in the NFL. Which he finally showed at the Senior Bowl.

Watch the speed to power that pancaked the ORT. He is the most athletic Edge guy in this Draft (1:40). His one and really only move in college was speed to power and then breaking off underneath the OT, and sacking the QB (2:03). He always plays with one eye on the QB, which is why #24 got him twice (2:14). But if there is a mix up on the O-line, he will hurt the QB.

He too often relied on his power and athleticism and not his hands and eyes (2:25). He just powers through the ORT like he is made of paper, and swats the ball (2:39). He dominated the TE with his hands, and should have ripped into the QB (3:02). He is a terrific fighter stunting inside, and never stops attacking (3:11). When his hands never stop moving is when he is at his best (3:19). A Dip and rip would have sent him to the QB, instead of falling on his bum.

You can see that he is also a good stunter going inside the DT to free himself from the OLT (3:29). Another quick hop stunt inside, but the O-line held together (3:42). He tried to read the option instead of reacting to it (3:50). When he has to read things, instead of just reacting, he has that hesitation that doesn't suite him well (4:17). But what I think too many Draftnics forget is that teams are drafting players, not for who they are now, but for who they will be. 

That's why the Texans D-line coach was going nuts when when he taught Davenport something and he used it in practice to sack the QB. He showed he took to NFL coaching, and took about ten steps forward in technique and playing behind his eyes during the week, going into the game. When you have the elite physical traits like Davenport, and you take to NFL coaching? 

Than NFL guys see you as an All-Pro in waiting, and not an undeveloped prospect. "I’ve heard people say that it does, but honestly I don’t care," Davenport said. "You can put on almost all my film and [see] I go hard. There’s not really a drop off in production." He has the physical traits to be an All-Pro, which he could reach if he continues to take to NFL coaching.

Davenport Vs Baylor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwpEQ-4NYz8

Davenport Vs A&M 2016:

Another aspect that is hard to quantify in prospects is growth. "There’s a big three," Davenport said. "I try to imitate all them at one point: Calais Campbell’s power, J.J. Watt’s motor, and Von Miller’s speed." Has the player maximized his growth? 

Has the prospects worked his ass off to get better? Can he improve and work at an NFL level? None of these prospects are ready for the NFL. None. So teams have to see the talent, the smarts, the production, and figure out how much room do they have to grow? "I’ve heard people say that it does but honestly I don’t care,” Davenport said. "You can put on almost all my film and I go hard. There’s not really a drop off in production." Will they put in the work?

Do they have the physical and mental endurance to put in the inhuman work ethic it takes to be an All-Pro. "He’s probably the player in this game that is not well known, but by the time we get to Saturday, he’s going to be the talk of the game," Phil Savage said

The amount of growth he showed in one year, from the 2016 season to the 2017 season was even more impressive than the growth he showed in one week of Practice at the Senior Bowl. In 2016. he was still a bit of skinny kid learning how to rush the passer. In 2017, he was a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, attacking like the Terminator. Maybe not exactly sure what he was suppose to do, but wrecking havoc anyway. "That guy’s interesting," Davenport said about what he hopes NFL guys are saying about him at the Senior Bowl. "That’s the best way I can put it," Mission accomplished.

But when you watch his elite speed and agility in 2016 (with a tragic lack of strength sometimes;) it is important to remember that he was playing with the dreaded high ankle sprain in 2017. Imagine the elite physical power and strength we just saw in 2017, combined with the speed and agility you are about to see in 2016:

He is a tiny little fellah as compared to who he was at the Senior Bowl in 2016 (:01). He had to go to San Antonito because he was a 198-pound weakling when he was playing D-end as a freshman. That is 61-pounds of muscle he has gained since he was a freshman to Senior Bowl. "It wasn’t so long ago that this wasn’t even a thought or on my radar," Davenport said.

He was a hell of a lot skinnier and faster just a year ago (:02). Watch the great lateral quicks as he slid down the line to the opposite side of the field to tackle the RB (:12). But he was still lacking in strength (:21). He is still growing into his new muscle bound body, but he doesn't lack for strength anymore. 

He played primarily on the Blindside before the 2017 season (:27). He looked so skinny chasing down the WR out in space (:59). He still had that great speed to power. And that is the perfect example of how he got most of his sacks (1:08). He would push the ORT back, and slice inside to hit the QB. Very underdeveloped hands coming into the Senior Bowl.

Love the effort to track the RB across the field, He might be a little too bulked up now (1:32). He still could be better at using his hands to shed the OT, but he's got something special (1:41). Watch this replay (1:50). He turned to run down field after the WR crossing, and was rewarded with an INT? Fumble recovery? Whatever? He was rewarded with a great highlight play.

You also have to note that he is playing against a much better team, and Gennesy played in the NFL last season (2:02). I thought he used his hands better in 2016. Watch how he used his hands to turn the corner here (2:21). That is exactly what he wasn't doing last season. 

He still was getting fooled by the option (2:26). Speed to power into a spin (2:30). The NFL OG couldn't stop him from hitting the RB inside (2:37). He went outside on the ORT last time, so he went inside this time to flush the QB (2:52). Watch the hustle (3:07). He got outside to hit the WR fast.

He has experience dropping into coverage, and doesn't look bad moving backwards in a zone drop (4:02). He still has that great lateral burst stunting inside (4:28). It seemed every time I watched him he'd get the sack using speed to power to pop the OT back. Then slice inside to sack the QB (4:34). Which is why his turning the corner to hit the QB at the Senior Bowl was so important.

You can see that he needed to add that strength, as Gennesy threw him to the ground twice (4:59). Excellent zone drop out into the flat (5:53). He showed he could run with the tight end down the seam (6:20). He showed he could cover the RB out of the backfield a little (7:37). He showed he could zone drop, and pick up the slot WR a little (7:31). He was so good in run defense on the edge (8:10). When he saw it he got there (8:16). Nice zone drop (8:26). Then he tackled the TE in space.

Okay, so it looked like he put on 15 to 20 pounds of muscle from 2016 to the Senior Bowl. Which may have been a little too much weight. He is a ton stronger, but he doesn't move like that on the field as well. Plus, it is so obvious that his bad ankle was bothering him all season.

In a lot of ways he was a better prospect in 2016 than he was in 2017. But he needed to add that NFL size to his frame. He needs to get back some of that 2016 speed, hustle, and agility, in his 2017 body. It looked like he did it at the SB, when it looked like his ankle was fine. I thought he did a lot of that at the Senior Bowl, where he looked a lot more explosive and faster than in the 2017 season. He was certainly more advanced in the rush in the Senior Bowl game.

So if you don't see Davenport as a top ten pick than you are probably right. But that means you are not seeing who he will become as early as this September. All players who are drafted have to improve massively to succeed in the NFL. None of them are ready to play. The most important thing we saw at the SB is that he took to coaching better than any other player there.

He is not the player he was when he left school to go to the Senior Bowl. He won't be the same player he is now, when he shows up at training camp. He showed at the SB that he will continue to improve through the Preseason, and be an even better player come September. That is what the Texans DL-coach saw at the SB. When he went nuts over a move he taught Davenport in practice that he used to get to the QB. That is what I saw at the SB.

Davenport Vs A&M 2016:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTr5h0wDnQA

Davenport's Official Bio:

UTSA career record-holder for tackles for loss (38.0), sacks (22.0) and quarterback hurries (21).
· 2017 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year
· 2017 first-team All-Conference USA
· 2017 Chuck Bednarik Award watch list
· 2017 Wuerffel Trophy preseason watch list (community service)
· 2017 Senior CLASS Award candidate
· 2016 second-team All-Conference USA
· 2015 honorable mention All-Conference USA

Senior (2017): Tabbed 2017 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-conference … accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala. … member of the Chuck Bednarik Award and Wuerffel Trophy watch lists … Senior CLASS Award candidate … posted 55 tackles and set school records with 17.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries … also tallied four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a fumble return for a touchdown … finished his UTSA career as the program's all-time leader in tackles for loss (38.0), sacks (22.0) and QB hurries (21) … posted a tackle for loss in eight different contests … registered 44 tackles, 14 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and all three of his forced fumbles in league play … named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 23 after recording a career-high-tying 11 stops, 3.5 TFLs and a pair of sacks and returning a fumble 34 yards for a TD in the 20-7 win against Rice … posted eight tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks for a loss of 24 yards and a forced fumble against North Texas … turned in six stops, 2.5 TFLs and a sack in the 44-14 victory at Texas State … ranked 10th among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players in tackles for loss per game (1.5) and 14th in sacks per contest (0.77) … started all 11 games for a defense that led C-USA in seven different statistical categories and ranked in the top 10 in the FBS in five.

Junior (2016): Named second-team All-Conference USA … played in all 13 games (12 starts) … led the squad’s defensive linemen with 68 tackles (31 solos/37 assists), including 10 for loss, and also had team-leading marks of 6.5 sacks and a program-record eight QB hurries … finished the season strong by posting 38 stops, seven TFLs and 4.5 sacks in the final six outings… racked up a career-high 11 tackles at #22 Texas A&M (Nov. 19) and also added 1.5 TFLs, one sack and a fumble recovery against the Aggies … had seven stops, including two sacks, at Louisiana Tech (Nov. 12) and also recorded a pair of sacks in the season opener against Alabama State (Sept. 3).

Sophomore (2015): Earned honorable mention All-Conference USA accolades … started 11 contests but missed the Colorado State (Sept. 26) tilt due to injury … recorded 49 tackles (30 solos/19 assists) … ranked second on the team with 7.5 TFLs and four sacks … also racked up four QB hurries, three pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles … had a career day against Rice (Nov. 21) with 10 stops, three TFLs and two sacks … posted six stops and a sack at Charlotte (Nov. 14) and added five tackles and one sack in the season opener against #22 Arizona (Sept. 3) … also accumulated five tackles, including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage, against Louisiana Tech (Oct. 10).

Freshman (2014): Saw action in the opening 11 games of the campaign but missed the season finale against North Texas (Nov. 29) due to injury … registered 14 tackles, three of which went for loss as sacks … top outing came at Rice (Oct. 8) when he racked up a career-high six stops, including a sack … opened his career at Houston (Aug. 29) with a pair of tackles and a sack … added another sack at Florida Atlantic (Sept. 27).

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