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Where does Marcus Davenport rank among Saints draft busts?

The former UTSA standout had left us wondering what could’ve been during his first 5 years in the league.

NFL: New Orleans Saints Training Camp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have had their fair share of draft success throughout the team's history franchise corner stones in early rounds like Cam Jordan, Mark Ingram, and Marshon Lattimore. The team has also found hidden gems in later rounds such as Marques Colston, Alvin Kamara, and Jahri Evans. Let's focus on one of the more debatable players, that being former UTSA standout Marcus Davenport who the Saints traded up 13 spots to select and gave away the team's first round pick in 2019. According to our latest poll on Twitter, Davenport beat out arguably the biggest draft bust in New Orleans Saints history Johnathan Sullivan.

So, does Marcus Davenport warrant the title “biggest draft bust” it’s really more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. Davenport was a project coming out of UTSA and drew comparisons to hall of famer Demarcus Ware based on his pure athletic ability and his height/ physical traits. Every year we saw the potential there and it seemed when he was hitting stride or even in that stride injuries came up almost immediately and costed Davenport multiple games each of his 5 seasons in New Orleans. While the sack numbers never hit double digits (career high 9 in 2021) Davenport was a guy who when on the field could get pressures and those hidden stats that won’t show up on the game log at the end of the day.

The most compelling case you can make for Marcus Davenport to being a draft bust is simply by looking at the players that came after Davenport. Pro Bowl players such as Derwin James, Jaire Alexander went after Davenport and most notably league MVP Lamar Jackson who a lot of people assumed the trade up as for went to Baltimore at the end of the first round. Sam Hubbard who has nearly 10 more sacks than Davenport and has found a nice role with the Bengals went in the 3rd round. Had the Saints stayed at 27, they could’ve added players like Courtland Sutton, Dallas Godert, or Shaq Leonard so I understand the players you missed on, the injuries, and giving up a first-round pick in 2019 it makes tons of sense why Marcus Davenport could be considered a bust. He is easily Sean Payton’s biggest draft bust considering the Saints' thought Davenport was the missing piece for a team ready to win it all in 2018. Ultimately the New Orleans Saints history was rough before Sean Payton got here and if you just take a look at some of the drafts the team had in years past, I do think there are easily several more players I’d label as a bust before I list Marcus Davenport.

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