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Sean’s Scout: UTSA’s Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys

It is not often at all that a team picking 19th overall may be out of range to draft a small school prospect, but this is rightfully the case for the and UTSA's . For scouts who only care about how these prospects can help their NFL teams, Davenport has all of the traits to be an impact the second he enters the league.

Should the Cowboys find themselves in position to draft Marcus Davenport in the , he would fill an immediate need as another pure pass rusher to pair with .

Firmly a first round player on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, let's take a closer look at Davenport's potential fit in Dallas.

What is most exciting about Davenport's projection to the NFL is that he's an ideal right defensive end prospect that played mostly on the left side in college. That means Davenport is stout against the run as a powerful player who also displays freakish speed, dip, and balance as a hunter.

“Simply forcing offensive tackles to respect his rare combination of speed and dip allows Marcus Davenport to knock them backwards with hands-above-eyes technique.”

This quote and accompanying film clip comes from my full scouting report on Marcus Davenport on Slant Sports. There simply aren't many prospects at the top of any given draft as complete as Davenport, while still showing elite upside to get even better.

Davenport does not exactly have a plan for each of his rushes, but pointing him at the quarterback on every play from the RDE spot in Dallas could do him nothing but good from day one. This is a player who captures the corner with ease, thanks to his burst and length, doing so with the balance to absolutely punish blockers.

When Marcus Davenport hits someone, they go backwards. This is a great thing to say about any defensive prospect, particularly a pass rusher who can also bend the corner.

“There simply aren’t many snaps on which he allows a blocker to work inside of his frame.”

The only slight projection that has to be made on Davenport playing defensive end with the Cowboys is his transition from playing mostly in a two-point stance to putting his hand on the ground. This technical change does little to affect a defensive end's approach.

The strength Marcus Davenport shows in his hands is absolutely stunning, and equally as impressive is his controlled acceleration ability. These two traits alone are more than enough to expect Davenport to be able to beat left tackles at the next level with consistency, attacking them before they can reach this lengthy prospect.

“Tapping into Davenport’s full potential could be as simple as getting him in the habit of rushing the half man on every rep, but expecting him to do so right away is a projection.”

With notorious for getting the most out of his defensive linemen, there is no question that Dallas is an ideal landing spot for Marcus Davenport to instantly reach his full potential.

The key to unleashing Davenport on the NFL will be teaching the mental aspects of the position to a player who dominated with raw traits in college.

The Cowboys have some numbers to sort out at defensive end before the draft, as the likes of and could potentially give them enough of a presence across from Lawrence to warrant looking elsewhere with the 19th overall pick.

Of course, Dallas also used last year's first selection on DE — who took major strides in his game towards the end of 2017.

None of this should deter them from reinforcing their defensive front with another versatile pass rusher.

Marcus Davenport has a legitimate case to come off the board within the first 15 picks of the upcoming , making him a great value for the Cowboys, slated to pick 19th.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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Randy Martin

Davenport has certainly been rising up the board and I had heard him talked about by Brugler and Broaddus on the draft show so I decided to look at some of his game films and clearly there is a lot of talent there, and he plays strong, great first step, strong hands. But I also saw a lot of rawness which can certainly be remedied with reps and good coaching. Apparently some ate saying he won’t be there at 19. Personally, I don’t see this as our greatest need so I’m not sure I would spend that high of a pick on an edge rusher. I think we have greater needs and I would be looking for more of an every down starter. Davenport is inconsistent against the run and the way we sub I just don’t think he would be on the field enough. According to Broaddus and Fish they have both dropped hints not to expect to see Gregory back. I have a feeling he has another failed test and we just haven’t been told yet. We probably need to take a player in the draft or look at free agency but I don’t think it’s a big enough need at 19. But that’s just me.

Sean Martin

Randy, thanks as always for your thoughts. While I think that Davenport could be as close to an every-down starter at RDE as you’ll find thanks to the lack of depth there, I agree about potentially having bigger needs. A goal at this draft should be to do enough on defense to not only sustain what the Cowboys did on that side of the ball last year but improve.

Randy Martin

I forgot to mention while watching the game film of Davenport I kept noticing their MLB Joseph Tauaefa flying all over the place, making plays. He isn’t draft eligible this year but looks like a guy to keep an eye on.


I would be fine using the 19th pick on DE, if there is definite athleticism and I am positive he has the first step like a Ware or Freeney, to excel at RDE. Last thing we need is another DE who is more suited to LDE.

So since he played LDE, the scouts have to know for sure he can flip sides. Definitely work him out as a RDE – and Marinelli knows enough, to see it if he has it. But a proven impact RDE will usually be gone early, so this kind of player who you’d flip and/or is from a small school, is another way to get it.

There’s no relying on Gregory, except that if he comes to camp things are going to get interesting. If he could ever right himself, he could be the missing link that allows this DL to take over games.

Sean Martin

I agree with all of this, especially with the lack of trust in Gregory unfortunately. As mentioned in this piece, Davenport played almost solely in a stand up position in college, which makes flipping sides to rush easier.

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