In this series we will take a look at players on the Saints roster that are ready to take that next step by either exceeding expectations, or living up to them. The first player we will examine is Marcus Davenport. Davenport was selected in the first round (pick 14) by the Saints after acquiring the pick from the Green Bay Packers. Most scouts agreed that Davenport was athletic freakishly, but his technique was raw and going to need some time to develop at the pro level. The concern from the scouts were mostly around him playing at a smaller school (UTSA) and not competing against traditional power house programs.
Davenport finished the season with 4.5 sacks and showed flashes of brilliance in a preview of what he could be in the complimentary role to all world player Cameron Jordan. After having somewhat of an injury riddled season there is high hopes for a healthy Davenport to have a breakout year. Of all the players on the defensive side he appears to be the most primed to take the next step and be the player the Saints knew they were drafting.
It seems as if the Saints were confident enough in what they have seen from Davenport to be comfortable letting starting DE Alex Okafor go in free agency. With the departure of Okafor, David Oyenmata serving a 1 game suspension, and DT Sheldon Rankings injured with no set date to come back, the DL will have a new look at the start of the season. With the new look DL the Saints will need Davenport to play up to his potential, but as long as Cameron Jordan is on the other side there’s no reason Davenport should not be freed up, creating havoc.
Prediction of stats for next season: