During most NFL Drafts, a non-Power Five player will work his way up into the top 10 selections. This year, University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) edge rusher Marcus Davenport has a chance to be that guy.
"He's one of those players that's not well known around the country, but everyone is going to know his name by the time we get to the end of April," said Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage. "He's a supremely gifted individual at 6'5", 259 pounds and he can come off the edge. He's shown that here and hopefully now you can apply the personality, intangibles and character with that, and they'll (NFL teams) recognize they have the full package."
Davenport, the 2017 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, shined in the latter parts of Senior Bowl Week and currently ranks No. 10 in NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah's top-50 prospects. The San Antonio native is considered a raw talent who has all the tools.
"I feel like it's been a great experience," Davenport said last week. "Every day, I feel like I'm learning more and getting better."
A former basketball player, Davenport described his playing style as violent and fast. The UTSA product primarily lined up in a two-point stance in college, but he also projects as a 4-3 defensive end. Following a practice, he said one of his primary focuses before April's Draft is to improve his game with his hand on the ground.
"He has those athletic traits that you love in a pass rusher," NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler said. "He's still figuring things out, figuring out the dance, the move-to-move transition, how to best use his hands and protect himself from what blockers do. But when you just break down the traits, for that size, he's really impressive."
This past season, Davenport set school single-season records with 17.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries en route to first-team All-Conference USA honors. He also holds UTSA records with 38 TFL, 22 sacks and 21 QBH.
One may wonder how a football player of Davenport's caliber ended up at UTSA. In fact, it's a question he often receives and it's typically followed up with curiosity about if he had any school trouble or run-ins with the law. Davenport, who weighed 198 pounds as a high school senior, also officially visited UNLV, New Mexico and the University of Incarnate Word.
"I tell them the truth," he said when asked what he tells scouts. "I went there (UTSA) on my last official visit and I wasn't really expecting much, but I happened to meet some great people and I wanted to be a part of that family."