Program: Texas-San Antonio
Height/Weight: 6’7″ 255
· 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
Career Stats: Sports-Reference
After an impressive Senior Bowl week, UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport has been flying up the draft boards. He is going as high as the top ten in some mock drafts. Some scouts believe he’s the best pass rush prospect in this year’s draft not named Bradley Chubb. Pro Football Focus has him rated 3rd among 4-3 defensive ends in the country behind just Chubb and Nick Bosa. Is he the real deal?
The 2017 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year is long, explosive, and has an array of pass-rush moves. Davenport finished the 2017 season with 8.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 55 tackles. He’s an aggressive pass rusher and uses his strength to overpower offensive lineman and uses his surprisingly polished pass-rush moves to leave them in the dust. He is also one of the best run-stoppers at DE in the country, rated 3rd by PFF.
Davenport has very few holes in his game. He was a highly-touted recruit when he signed with the Roadrunners in 2014, and quickly locked down a starting spot on the UTSA defensive line. Davenport has all the tools that NFL GMs seek in a defensive end. He is a great edge-setter and can use his speed to chase down QBs and RBs alike. His explosiveness off the line of scrimmage at the snap pops out at you, as you can see below:
Davenport has everything you need in a 4-3 defensive end: size, speed, strength, explosiveness, and a non-stop motor. He was taught well under DL coach Bo Davis (had a couple of stints with Nick Saban at Alabama in the same capacity), widely regarded as one of the best DL coaches in the country. Davenport’s technique is fundamentally sound, and he is adept at gaining leverage against blockers. Davenport is an impact player as Roadrunner and CUSA football fans know quite well.
The only real issue that might affect his draft stock is the level of competition he faced in CUSA. At UTSA, he only played against P5 teams a handful of times. But Davenport posted 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in outings against Arizona, Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Baylor while at UT-San Antonio. That narrative is lazy. They use it for every non-P5 prospect out there. Forgotten5 is a G5 focused site; I simply won’t stand for it.
I will admit that Davenport got off to a slow-start during his week in Mobile. But, those concerns did not last long, by the end of the week he was dominating opposing offensive lineman in practice. He capped off his week with a masterful performance in the Senior Bowl that included a sack of Baker Mayfield and a 19-yard scoop-and-score in the third quarter. He was in the North’s backfield all game.
In addition to competition concerns, he lined up in a two-point stance during much of his time at UTSA. If he is drafted into a 4-3 defense, there might be a learning curve early on until he gets adjusted. But that is a relatively minor issue in the grand scheme of things. As a run-stopper, he’s excellent at setting the edge and has the speed to track down ball carriers. Marcus Davenport can do a little bit of everything.
Marcus Davenport is a quick-twitch athlete. He has everything you want in a defensive end prospect and has the quickness to line up as a 3-4 OLB if the need arises. Davenport isn’t one of these Mike Mamula/speed rusher types that tend to be hit-or-miss at the next level. Instead, he is a polished pass-rusher and run-stopper. Frank Wilson and Bo Davis taught this man well. Davenport has all the tools you need to succeed at the next level.
He’s a top 15 prospect. If he falls outside the top 15, he’s going to be a steal, and he’ll make some GM a very happy man.