One of the names that’s been associated with the Lions via mock drafts and in draft analysis leading up to next week’s actual NFL Draft is Texas-San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport.
He’s an interesting prospect because he’s a big, long, fast and athletic pass rusher coming out of a small school. He’s drawn some comparisons to current Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah from both an athletic and size perspective, but also because both players were considered fairly raw coming into the league. Most analysts have Davenport as the second best edge rusher in the draft behind Bradley Chubb.
NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock was asked about Davenport in a national conference call Friday, and had an interesting perspective on him.
“I’m a Marcus Davenport guy,” Mayock said. “But I think the underlying understanding has to be that he’s very raw and is going to take a little bit of time.”
While he’s been a stand-up rusher at UTSA, teams may see Davenport as a 4-3 defensive end because of his 6-foot-6, 264-pound frame. He recorded 55 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last season.
“Even in a simple system, where you line him up wide and teach him how to rush the quarterback, he’s got a lot to learn,” Mayock said.
“The further you get away from that – and by the way he’s a very smart kid, I’m not taking any shots there at all – I’m just saying he’s raw as can be.
“The further you get away from a simple system, where you’re asking him to do multiple jobs, whether it’s rush and the next snap you’re dropping … the more you’re asking him to do the longer it’s going to take to develop.”
Mayock noted that Matt Patricia’s schemes in the past in New England have been very complicated, and it might take “a long time” for a raw player…