Saints Roster: Realistic expectations for Marcus Davenport in 2022

Marcus Davenport is entering what could be his final year on the Saints roster. What should fans expect from the former first-round pick in 2022? 

It was a bit of a shock in 2018 when the New Orleans Saints moved up from the 27th pick to the 14th pick in order to grab Marcus Davenport out of UTSA. It wasn’t a move that anyone was expecting, especially with Lamar Jackson, Derwin James, and Jaire Alexander still on the board when NOLA moved up.

Davenport didn’t live up to his first-round hype during the first three years of his career. His best season at that point was in 2019 when he had six sacks through 13 starts but injuries were what worked against Davenport the most during that time.

This past season, while Davenport was still banged up and missed six games as a result, he put together the best year of his young career. He notched nine sacks through 11 games.

Saints Roster: What should fans expect from Marcus Davenport in 2022?

New Orleans surprisingly picked up Davenport’s fifth-year option this time a year ago, meaning that he was going to be on the team in 2022 no matter what. It’s a good thing the Saints gambled on their former first-round pick because he played well in year four and now they’ll hopefully get solid production out of him again in 2022.

Davenport has the incentive to ball out again this year, as he’s entering a contract year. If he plays as well as he did in 2021, it’ll be hard for the Saints to keep him but the injuries could be something that holds him back.

Some might have heard but Davenport reportedly had half of his pinky finger amputated this offseason, per Mike Triplett of ESPN.

Davenport doesn’t believe it will affect his performance, noting that he had already learned to adjust to the bent finger. He insisted that he has maintained a positive attitude throughout another injury-plagued offseason.

Fans should probably expect Davenport to miss at least a few games in 2022 due to the fact that he’s failed to remain healthy for a full season to this point. He might not surpass the nine sacks that he had last year but staying healthy would be the biggest accomplishment for Davenport as he enters a crucial year.