Most of the attention for a pass rusher at the top of the upcoming NFL Draft is on N.C. State’s Bradley Chubb, and rightfully, so. However, there is another name that is continuing to gain steam, as we near towards the end of April, UT-San Antonio’s Marcus Davenport.
We wrote previously around the 2018 Senior Bowl in January that Davenport was already being scrutinized, as a possible first round pick out of the “Non-Power Five” Conference USA school. And while there are questions about his week in and week out competition level in that conference, most scouts and personnel people will tell you that the off season process of the Senior Bowl, the Scouting Combine and even, a player’s pro day, help them quantify the talent, too.
Davenport, who had 8 1/2 sacks and 17 1/2 other tackles for loss last year, had his pro day on Wednesday and every NFL team was represented in the Alamo City.
Particularly interesting, is the 49ers, who have the ninth pick, sent a contingent of their football scouts, coaches and staff to be there. And after GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan took Stanford defensive tackle Solomon Thomas and Alabama LB Reuben Foster with their first two picks last year, it’s obvious that they are not afraid to look strongly at defense early in a draft.
Now, where do the Buccaneers, who pick two spots in front of San Francisco, fit into this?
Well, obviously they need pass rushing help having finished last in the NFL in sacks in 2017.
Tampa Bay addressed this in free agency in by signing Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry and also, trading for Giants former Pro Bowl DE Jason Pierre-Paul last week.
Now, comes the questions to mull over: is Davenport worth the #7 overall pick? Also, if he’s not worth #7 but potentially is a mid-first rounder, should/would the Bucs consider trading down with some team that wants, say, a QB bad enough?
And then, risk getting a player like Davenport later in the first round?
Then again, if teams 49ers and the Packers, who ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. thinks should take Davenport, are interested, then perhaps the Buccaneers will look closer, too.
Davenport would not say Wednesday which teams that he has scheduled to visit at their facility coming up.
However, it’s a safe assumption that the Bucs are one.
Now, how much do they value him? Good question.
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