3. Marcus Davenport
Marcus Davenport may be a bit of a surprise on this list because his 2021 season was already a bit of a breakout, but we’re going to see even more from the former UTSA product in 2022.
Davenport, a 2018 first-round draft pick by the Saints, struggled in the early stages of his career with consistency. However, Davenport’s nine sacks last season in just 11 games is a career-high for him and builds a whole lot of excitement for his future.
The Saints shocked people a year ago when they decided to pick up his fifth-year option and Davenport rewarded them for it. The first-round pick will now be searching for a big-time contract extension, but the only way to justify that happening is if he gets in the double-digit sack range.
Marcus Davenport has the tools — size, speed, and physicality — but he needs to prove he can put up reliable pass-rushing numbers on a more consistent basis. Davenport is going to have a career year, one similar to the season Trey Hendrickson had a couple of years ago where he finished in the top three in total sacks in the NFL.
I could see Davenport, if he stays healthy, racking up anywhere from 12 to 17 sacks and securing his job as the defensive end opposite of Cameron Jordan for years to come. Davenport had a brief spurt of his ability last season, but 2022 could be the year he truly earns the trust of Who Dat Nation.