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NFL Draft prospect to know: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA Roadrunners

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Would you like to see this pass-rushing freak stay in the Lone Star State?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Blogging The Boys will take a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys’ expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some of the elite members of the class.

Well, it’s looking less and less likely that the Cowboys will spend the 19th pick on a wide receiver.

The Dallas Cowboys, after not doing anything during the first week of free agency, made moves for two wideouts this week. First, it was former Bills wide receiver Deonte Thompson. The 29 year-old speedster has bounced around the league, but he brings value as both a backup wideout and as a return man. The bigger splash, though, occurred on Friday:

Allen Hurns, 26, was cut by the Jaguars and only played in ten games in 2017, but he showed a lot of potential in 2015 when he recorded over 1,000 yards and ten touchdowns. It’s still a possibility that Dallas considers WR at 19 — especially if they unload a receiver already on the roster — but the reports of adding Hurns to Dez Bryant may force the Cowboys to look elsewhere in the first round.

With that said, offensive guard and defensive line appear to be the hot preferences — especially if Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are both off the board. Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez will more-than-likely be available, but what if a stud defensive end is still an option?

If so, keep this guy in mind.

Marcus Davenport — defensive end, UTSA Roadrunners

6-foot-7
255
Senior

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at Texas-San Antonio Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Davenport is the latest example of a late-bloomer — no one could have forseen him developing as a bonafide first-round selection. Davenport, a San Antonio native, was widely overlooked coming out of Stevens High School. The future first-round pick was a 6-foot-5, 190 pound prospect that wasn’t even ranked in the top-2,500 players in his recruiting class. With offers from only the University of Texas-San Antonio and the UNLV Rebels, the raw prospect decided to stay home for school.

The two-star end wasn’t much of a factor for the Roadrunners during his initial season on campus, but he wasn’t a slouch by any means: 14 total tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and 2.5 sacks in just eight games as a true freshman. The potential was there, but would he be able to put it all together?

Davenport built on his freshman campaign in 2015, emerging as a force in the C-USA conference. Playing in 11 games for his hometown school, Davenport made 49 total tackles, 30 solo tackles, 7.5 TFLs, four sacks, forced two fumbles, and even defended two passes from the defensive end position. He received all-conference honorable mention honors following his sophomore season. How much better could he be?

A lot, it turned out, as Davenport was in the early stages of realizing his potential, filling out his frame, and understanding the game of football. Davenport’s junior season started to get his name on NFL radars, as he was named to the C-USA’s second team. In 2016, the monstrous defensive end recorded 67 total tackles to go with 10 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks. He also forced another fumble and recovered one as well.

Still, Davenport would improve from season-to-season: a trait that has to intrigue teams considering him. This past season was his best season yet, and it has him on track to be a day one selection this April. Davenport finished his collegiate career for the Roadrunners with 55 total tackles and career-highs in TFLs (17.5) and sacks (8.5). He also deflected four passes, forced three fumbles, and recovered one for a touchdown. As you might imagine, the San Antonio native was named the C-USA’s Player of the Year.

Davenport was also invited to the Senior Bowl and, boy, did he impress.

1. Thursday’s practice was the coming out party for UTSA DE Marcus Davenport. The South team couldn’t block him. I thought he was thinking a little bit too much and struggling to get off the ball earlier in the week, but he got after it on Thursday. He was all over the place. He’s not a finished product yet, but he finally showed what he’s capable of, which was good to see. I’m very intrigued by his potential, as you can see in my top-50 rankings. -- Daniel Jeremiah

After two days of underwhelming play -- particularly relative to the massive amount of buzz surrounding him in Mobile -- UTSA pass-rusher Marcus Davenport was a monster Thursday. He beat TCU offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom a handful of times for would-be sacks, got his hand on a throw after another pressure and late in the practice actually fell into Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta for another sack.

Marcus Davenport, DE, University of Texas San Antonio — At this point if you follow the draft you know the name Marcus Davenport. The 6-7, 255-pound defensive end showed off his skills all week and is now being talked about as a top-10 pick by some evaluators. He is seen as the No. 2 defensive end only to N.C. State’s Bradley Chubb. Whether you knew him or not before this week remains to be seen, but Baker Mayfield certainly knew who he was after a sack in the first quarter.

  • Todd McShay (ESPN)

Davenport’s stock was already high, but his Senior Bowl performance cemented his place as a day-one selection, and the Cowboys should be interested — that’s, of course, he is still available at pick 19. Some have the UTSA product going in the top 10-15 picks, but The Ringer’s Danny Kelly has the freakish defensive end on the board when the Cowboys make their pick.

19. Dallas Cowboys: DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA

Dallas still needs to add teeth to its defensive line, and Davenport, while raw, could do exactly that. Put him in a pass-rushing subpackage with Demarcus Lawrence, David Irving, and Taco Charlton, and the highly athletic pass rusher could make an impact in year one.

Will Marcus Davenport still be available by the time the Cowboys make their selection? Maybe, but there’s a good chance he’s already taken. But, if he is still waiting to hear his name called, would you like for the Cowboys to select this end?

The all-time sack and tackles-for-loss leader in UTSA history has a frame that NFL scouts, GMs, and coaches drool over — and he still has some room to fill out. The talented pass rusher possesses great size to go along with impressive quickness and speed. Once he gets coached up on using his hands consistently and to not rely solely on his athletic gifts, watch out.

Davenport measured in with 33 5/8” arms and 9 1/8” hands, while clocking in a 4.58 40-yard dash, 33.5 vertical, 4.41 20-yard shuttle, and 22 bench reps. He certainly passes the eye test.


What are your thoughts, BTB?

*Stats gathered from sports-reference.com, unless otherwise noted.

Catch up with our previous installments below!

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Austin Bryant, DE Clemson

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Tarvarus McFadden, CB Florida State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Martinas Rankin, OL Mississippi State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Daron Payne, DT, Alabama

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

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