New Orleans Saints: Marcus Davenport is shedding the bust label
Coming into the league in 2018, Marcus Davenport was a polarizing prospect with excellent size (6’6 and 264 pounds) and not a whole lot of experience against better competition. But it was his potential to become a frightening and dominant force on the defensive end that made the New Orlean Saints draft the UTSA product with the 14th pick that year.
His career, much like his pre-draft scouting report, has been a bulk of uncertainty: he was somewhat productive in his first two seasons with 10.5 sacks as an edge rusher but not first-round caliber by any means.
Injuries have held him out of 13 of the Saints’ last 28 games and that’s where the bust label really started to rear its ugly head. His absence had begun to prove to be a problem as it was affecting his on-field production.
This season, with hopes to right the narrative, Davenport shot out of the gates and had an excellent Week 1 appearance: he had a sack, two tackles-for-losses, and was a major contributor to the team’s 38-3 routing over the Packers. However, despite his impressive outing, the injury bug appeared again and he was forced to sit on injured reserve for the following four weeks.
Marcus Davenport returns to shed bust label for Saints
But he was back Monday night against the Seahawks. And he played like he had something to prove — which inadvertently, he does. In only 62% of the team’s defensive snaps, Davenport stood out as the Saint’s highest-graded player, according to Pro Football Focus.
In the 13-10 win over Seattle, the Saints came away with their best pass-rushing performance of the season with a total of five sacks and eight QB hits. And although the counting number may seem meager (only one assisted tackle for loss), Davenport’s disruptive presence on the line was key to the defense’s success.
Fans took note of it and are once again excited for his potential impact on the team.
What are the fans saying?
One of the more the sneakily important focal points for the Saints this season had been the lack of production from star defensive end Cameron Jordan. However, against the Seahawks, Jordan recorded his first sack of the year, and afterward, he credited Davenport for it.
On Sunday, Oct. 31, the 4-2 Saints will face off against division rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the NFC South lead. Davenport showing up and playing well will be a major key to their success.