With OTAs (organized training activities) beginning in the coming days or officially underway for some teams, eyes in the media will surely be keying in on certain players across the NFL. How will Odell Beckham Jr look catching passes from Baker Mayfield in Cleveland? Will JuJu Smith-Schuster be able to step up and fill the shoes of Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh? But what about in New Orleans? Who will be the focus for the Saints? Bleacher Report seems to think it will be Marcus Davenport:
After the New Orleans Saints traded two first-round picks to land defensive end Marcus Davenport during the 2018 draft, the UTSA product had only 4.5 sacks and 22 tackles in a peripheral role as a rookie.
But injuries were a factor for Davenport, who played only 40.4 percent of the Saints’ defensive snaps. He dealt with hip, thumb and toe issues at various points in the season, and after early-offseason surgery, he suggested on Twitter that he played through an injury that should have ended his season prematurely.
Will Davenport be ready to roll when the Saints hold their first OTA session Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday? And if not, how close is he? Those’ll be big questions entering the heart of the offseason program for a Saints team that has invested heavily in—and has high expectations for—the 22-year-old pass-rusher.
If Davenport has developed and can get/stay healthy, he could be walking into a major opportunity opposite four-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan after veteran 2018 starter Alex Okafor left to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.
OTAs and the preseason, with focus on players like Davenport, Teddy Bridgewater, and Alize Mack, this is all going to be a very interesting - and exciting - time for the Saints.