After dominating Conference USA as a defensive end at Texas-San Antonio, Marcus Davenport climbed the draft board all the way up to No. 14, where the New Orleans Saints traded up from pick No. 27 to select him. Davenport is poised to line up at right defensive end, opposite from All-Pro Cam Jordan. The C-USA Defensive Player of the Year should see his fair share of one-on-one matchups with opposing offensive lines having to stop Jordan and tackle Sheldon Rankins.
Davenport initially went to UTSA to play wide receiver but one of his coaches saw his potential as a pass rusher, and eventually he made the switch over to the other side of the ball. In college, the 6-foot-5’ athlete racked up 21.5 sacks and 185 total tackles.
Saints Coach Sean Payton recently affirmed the talent of the first round draft pick,
“Man, he is big and he's long. He's a tremendous worker. He spent a lot of time with Ryan (Nielson) just on his technique. He's playing more from a three-point stance than he did in college where he was mainly in a two-point stance but he is coming along really well,” Payton said during the first week of OTA’s. “There is a strength element you feel and obviously we are not in pads but you saw it when he played (in college). And now it is really working on his pass rush, working on his pass rush plan and developing the three different pitches he needs to be effective when it is not just playing the run but obviously he like the rest of that rookie class has (a lot of work in learning what’s being) installed but he’s handling it well. It has been really encouraging.”
Fans will have the chance to get a first glance at Davenport during the New Orleans Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon. The camp schedule will be released soon.