Last week the Saints gave up quite a bit to move up for Marcus Davenport, an edge defender from a small school UT San Antonio. Many armchair GMs said it was too much to give up next year’s number one pick on top of the fifth and overall pick 27 of this year’s draft. I don’t believe that is the case for many reasons and the all time greats at the position have much in common with the former Roadrunner.
The position itself is the second most important in the game many, including yours truly, will say. I looked at some of the greatest sack artists of the past and the present for a common thread and one thing grabbed my attention immediately. Of the top 14 of the all timers 8 were first round picks. That includes Bruce Smith, Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White, they were pretty decent players I’ve been told. OK, the “Minister of Defense”was technically a USFL draft pick but let’s not knitpick. Other greats like Chris Doleman and still active Julius Peppers were top 4 overall picks. Peppers is 38 but should change his name to Ponce De Leon as he had 11 sacks last season.
The Saints braintrust knew the team’s main need and made it happen even if Davenport came from a small school against inferior competition. Wait what? Small school guys like Demarcus Ware (Troy), Jason Taylor (Akron), and Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent (Tennessee St)? As far as current sack leaders like Jadeveon Clooney, Kahlil Mack, JJ Watt, Myles Garrett, all were first round draft choices. Saint 2017 first team all pro Cam Jordan was also a first rounder going twenty fourth overall in the 2011 draft.
Marcus Davenport is right out of central casting for an edge defender , 6’6″ 265 and runs the forty about the same as Michael Thomas. A potentially dominant gameplan wrecker on defense is almost as rare as a franchise quarterback and when one like this is available smart teams move heaven and earth to get their guy. Still a diamond in the rough perhaps but I think he will soon shine very bright. The vision of a Cam Jordan/Davenport bookend situation makes me salivate and would keep enemy offensive coordinators up late at night. Fortune favors the bold they say and the Saints made the move for a Super Bowl run. I think Marcus Davenport will be a pro bowl player in the near future. He has it all, now he has to go to work.