New Orleans Saints: It’s now or never for Marcus Davenport

Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints gambled big when they traded up to the No. 14 spot in the 2018 NFL Draft to select Marcus Davenport. It didn’t seem like a move that needed to be made, as Davenport hailed from the smaller Texas-San Antonio and the team could have waited but hey — This seems to be a trend for this organization.

Anyway, Davenport had a lot of weight bearing down on him as a result of what the Saints gave up to land him and so far, he has not delivered. As such, he made an appearance on Bucky Brooks of’s list of five “Now or Never” players.

Brooks writes:

"While the flashes prompted the Saints to pick up the UTSA product’s fifth-year option, the team needs more production from a pass rusher coming off a disappointing 2020 campaign in which he registered just 1.5 sacks in 11 games. If Davenport is going to emerge as a capable sidekick or potential successor to Jordan, he needs to show up as a consistent playmaker off the edge."

There really is so much potential surrounding Davenport and it’s not hard to see why the Saints moved up to take him in 2018. The problem is that after a promising sophomore season with six sacks, Davenport sputtered in 2020, notching just 1.5 and disappointing.

Marcus Davenport has to prove himself to the New Orleans Saints.

As Brooks mentioned, the Saints picked up Davenport’s fifth-year option, so he’ll be a member of this team in 2022 whether fans like it or not. He has two seasons to prove he was worthy of being a first-round pick and that he doesn’t belong in the dreaded bust category.

When the Saints took Davenport, they clearly saw big things from him and Cameron Jordan in the Saints’ defensive front. There’s still time for that to come to fruition but the Marcus Davenport experiment certainly hasn’t gone according to plan in the first three years. The Saints defense still looks to be a top-10 unit in 2021 so just imagine how much better it could be if Davenport played up to his potential.

Here’s to hoping that Davenport can shed the bust label that is currently tied to him and really have an impressive season in 2021. The Saints believed in him enough to pick up the fifth-year option and now it’s up to Davenport to deliver and become the disrupting pass-rusher that New Orleans thought they were getting with the No. 14 overall pick three years ago.

If Davenport doesn’t show anything more than what he already has, the Saints will know that he isn’t the answer moving forward.

Next. 5 Free Agents Who Would Instantly Improve Roster. dark

Will Marcus Davenport progress in a big way this year or will it be another disappointing outing for the former Texas-San Antonio star?