Saints: Putting the Marcus Davenport pick in
perspective – (Yardbarker)
Much has been made about the Saints moving up to take Marcus Davenport. We need to put the pick in perspective and calm some nerves.
The Saints have taken a lot of knocks for their move to take Marcus Davenport in the 2018 NFL Draft. There’s been a ton of talk bout mortgaging the future. The knocks against Davenport are that he’s raw. The concerns are over the school he attended being small and that he didn’t see adequate competition in college.
First, let’s get this point out of the way. The draft is a crap shoot. Every pick has the chace of being a flop. But there are things you can look to that will potentially make a pick more of a sure thing. Every one of those things, Marcus Davenport checks off.
He’s smart, freakishly athletic and he’s just a good kid. No off the field issues. His work ethic is off the charts. Quick study, eager. What more could you possibly want?
Much has been made about the fact that teams that move up like the Saints did usually do it for a “franchise quarterback”. So, I’ll ask you to name the number of franchise quarterbacks teams have moved up for in recent memory. How many of those picks have panned out? How many have been flops? The answers to those two questions are not many and a lot.
The difference between QB and DE
There haven’t been many high round defensive ends who have been abject failures in the NFL. Not for on-field issues at any rate. The number of abject failures at quarterback is insane.
Time for some true talk. A mediocre quarterback will sink your team. They actually have little chance to contribute or even get on the field. A mediocre defensive end can at least contribute. They can play in rotation to spell other players. They’ll have a chance to contribute in a positive fashion at any rate.
That doesn’t happen for franchise quarterback busts. The point to be taken here is that it’s a much safer bet to trade up for a defensive end than a quarterback. The risk taken is mitigated by the fact that the whole team doesn’t depend on one defensive end.
Note, I’m saying all this with full confidence that Marcus Davenport will be a stud in the NFL. I’ve never been as sure about a first round pick by the Saints. In fact, I’ve questioned every one of them over the past several years. When I heard they’d taken Davenport I was ecstatic. Despite the cost. He was the absolute perfect fit.
Doing a pre-draft analysis on Davenport, I stated that, if he was available at pick 27, the Saints shouldn’t hesitate to take him. They certainly didn’t hesitate. I feel now, as I did then, that Davenport was exactly what the Saints need to greatly enhance the defense.
Level of competition
Sure, Davenport played for the University of Texas-San Antonio. The kind of school you want to see on your schedule for an easy homecoming win. But that means nothing in regard to an individual player. Marques Colston came out of Hofstra and was a seventh round pick. None of that matters.
All you have to do is put on some film from the 2018 Senior Bowl. Watch Davenport destroy Baker Mayfield. Yes, the number one pick in the draft. Watch Davenport scoop and score on a fumble. Watch him fight every single play. Even against the best seniors from the Power Five conferences, Davenport looked, at times, like a man among boys.
If you’re worried about “mortgaging the future” on a player like that? Meaning not having a first round pick in 2019 by the way. Then you need to recalibrate your football senses. As far as Marcus Davenport is concerned, the potential reward far outweighs the risk.
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