Even though the Bears are just out of the area where they would be able to land the No. 1 pass-rushing prospect in the draft, a buzz is building around one of this class’ other highly regarded prospects.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports the Bears used one of their pre-draft visits on Marcus Davenport, the talented edge defender from the University of Texas-San Antonio. Davenport said the meeting allowed the team to get to know him on a more personal level.
“They were trying to get to know me as a person because coming from a school that doesn’t have much history, they didn’t come through as much,” Davenport explained. “They weren’t keeping a record me all the years.”
Davenport has the size (6-6, 264 pounds with arms that measure 33 5/8 inches), speed (timed at 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash), and athleticism to be a premier pass rusher in the NFL. And remember: you can’t teach size, speed, length, or athleticism. But after playing his college ball at a smaller Division I school, the Bears wisely used some of their valuable pre-draft time to bone up on a prospect who really hadn’t popped on to the national radar until an 11-tackle game against Texas A&M in 2016 at UTSA.
Davenport’s skills and technique could probably use some fine tuning in the pros, which is why he isn’t viewed as a sure-fire top-10 pick despite his athleticism and the fact he plays a premium position. It’s worth keeping in the back of your mind that Davenport said he met with Brandon Staley, the Bears’ outside linebackers coach who would be one of the primary figures responsible for developing Davenport if he was to be drafted by the Bears.
Chicago certainly has a need at the position and Davenport is the type of prospect who possesses the kind of frame and tools GM Ryan Pace seems to seek out of his first-round prospects. Davenport recently emerged as a possible target for the team to use the No. 8 overall pick on later tonight. We’ll see if the smoke continues to intensify around the Bears and Davenport, and whether or not it leads to fire.