49ers Free Agent Wishlist Marcus Davenport and the 49ers are

49ers Free Agent Wishlist: Marcus Davenport and the 49ers are a match made in heaven

The 49ers have had tremendous success in recent seasons as they identified athletic edge rushers and pocketed them in spots that created mismatches with the offensive linemen inside. Nobody in the NFL is better than Kris Kocurek at maximizing defensive line talent, and this offseason is the perfect opportunity to kickstart a unit that could use a little refresh.

Staying on the subject of potential free-agent defensemen, I’m going to focus on one specific player who fits this specific archetype that has led to tremendous success for the 49ers in recent seasons.

Markus Davenport

Davenport was drafted 14th overall in the 2018 draft after playing four seasons at the University of Texas San Antonio. After testing the charts at the combine, the New Orleans Saints moved their 2018 and 2019 first-round picks and a 2018 fifth-rounder to move up from the 27th pick to 14th overall to select Davenport.

Davenport was listed at 6’6,265 pounds and had a particular combination of size and explosiveness that would have any defensive coach’s mouth watering at the thought of how they could develop and utilize this exceptional athlete to the next level.

I firmly believe that sacks alone are an inefficient metric to chart individual pass rush production. There are simply too many external factors at play, e.g. B. how long the quarterback holds the ball, what the protection system looks like, whether another player benefits from the sack by taking pressure off another player, etc.

While some look to the fact that Davenport only had one sack in the 2022 season, I would be far more inclined to emphasize the value of the 12 percent pressure rate he recorded, which is much more indicative of the success and consistency of a pass points out Rusher on an individual level.

That pressure rate was consistent throughout Davenport’s NFL career, as he recorded a double-digit pressure rate in each of his five seasons in the NFL.

Davenport is more than capable of taking the edge in a more traditional role, but perhaps his most valuable attribute is his ability to wreak havoc on the inside when isolated by guards.

That would work extremely well on the 49ers’ defensive front, where players like Arden Key and Charles Omenihu had breakout seasons during their time in the Red and Gold used in a similar role.

There are some glaring similarities between Omenihu and Davenport from a physical traits perspective that would suggest the latter is a strong candidate to repeat the success the former had in the same capacity with the 49ers. Here’s a look at some of the combine’s physical traits and test results.

Karl Omenihu


280 pounds (although it has been reported to be closer to 265 now)

7.48 seconds 3 cone drill

4.36 seconds short shuttle

Markus Davenport


265 pounds

7.20 seconds 3 cone drill

4.41 seconds short shuttle

I’ve compiled some cut-ups of Davenport from last season that highlight his ability to win from the edge and the value he adds when isolated on inside line players.

This first clip shows Davenport using a chop move to soften the edge before finishing with a rip move to win the corner and trip Joe Burrow for a sack.

In this next one, Davenport is lined up on the edge but matched up with the left guard due to a stunt. Check out the raw power Davenport has to drive back to the guard with what appears to be a long arm and force a misguided throw into the pocket on Burrow.

Here’s another one that demonstrates the sheer power Davenport can generate when facing an internal lineman in isolation.

Davenport is tailor-made for the role that Key and Omenihu thrived on. The versatility to set up on the perimeter, as well as the inside, would be a nightmare for opposing offensives on the map. A potential front four of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Drake Jackson and Davenport could be a game-destroying force in obvious passing situations.

It’s clear Davenport’s potential and the 49ers’ track record of bringing out the best in players with similar characteristics. It remains to be seen what kind of market Davenport would dominate.

It’s also worth noting that if the Saints let him run this offseason, Davenport would be considered a $7.6 million dead cap hit due to some financial maneuvering. It’s not clear how much the Saints will prioritize Davenport’s return at this point, but if interest is strong enough on their part, they will also gain additional financial flexibility if they can work out a deal to keep his services.

Ultimately, I think there’s a big chance Davenport will make it to the open market. According to Spotrac, New Orleans currently has a $54,605,434 cap place while also being linked with a veteran quarterback who will eat a large chunk of the place he capped with the annual “How on earth did they did it” releases the manipulation that General Manager Mickey Loomis is known for.

San Francisco has a great pitch for Davenport. Will they make it?

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