Saints paid an unusually big price to draft Marcus Davenport

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When the Saints were on the clock after the surprising decision to trade away next year’s first-round draft pick to move up in this year’s first round, there was widespread speculation that they must be planning to draft a quarterback. Because typically, that’s the only position that teams will give up two first-round draft picks to get.

Instead, the Saints drafted pass rusher Marcus Davenport.

A move like that is almost unheard of. The last time a team packaged two first-round draft picks to move up and draft a defensive player was in 2003, when the Jets sent two first-round picks to the Bears to select Dewayne Robertson.

And giving up two first-round picks for the 14th overall pick is unheard of: According to ESPN, it was the first time since the AFL-NFL merger that a team gave away two first-round draft picks to acquire a pick outside the Top 12.

Which means the Saints must think Davenport is not just a good player, but a potentially franchise-changing player, the kind of pass rusher who can be the difference between a team that lost in the divisional round of the playoffs last season and a team that can win the Super Bowl this season. The best way to make the Davenport trade pay off is to make sure the pick the Saints traded away is No. 32 overall.

65 responses to “Saints paid an unusually big price to draft Marcus Davenport

  1. Paying that much to move up for a pass rusher in the mid-1st round was insane. Maybe they’re drinking deeply from their own hubris since they had such a fantastic draft last year.

  2. As a Packer fan I hope he is so bad he causes them to lose 10 games. On the fence about him otherwise. Could be a great pass rusher or he could be Dion Jordan. Will start to find out in 4 months.

  3. The only way this makes sense is if they would have wasted the 27th pick on a bust…like Rashad Penny.

  4. Funny thing is, they didn’t need to trade that far up to get him. He wasn’t on anyone elses radar for that high of a selection. Same story with the Seahawks and Penny. If you truly know of a gem that nobody else is aware of, then it’s a near certainty he’ll be available in later selections.

  5. Even Steven….Possible Historically Great Draft Last Year.

    Potentially Harmful Draft This Year That Will Affect Franchise Post Drew Brees Era.

  6. Drafting Kamara and picking up Taysom Hill for nothing shows the Saints have a pretty good eye for talent.

  7. They paid between a 100 and 400 point premium if they make the playoffs. I think that is reasionable. If they do not make the playoffs then the deal starts to look bad. If you think of it as giving up 27 and 64 this year would you not make the trade? They are comparable numbers to what was given up.

  8. Wasn’t Tom Benson from San Antonio as well??! Davenport is a really nice draft pick ..!

  9. When you can find a diamond in the rough at lower rounds (Kamera last year), giving up a lot to get a potential player to fill a need is worth it. It balances out. Before the draft, Payton said there wasn’t a franchise QB in this draft so not drafting a QB is not a surprise.

  10. The Saints were idiots plain and simple! Davenport would’ve been available prior to pick number 20 and they didn’t need to give up the haul they did for a guy who might just be a bust.

  11. Only time will tell if that was a good or bad trade. On the surface it looks bad but if he goes on to be a double digit sack guy that helps bring a superbowl to the Saints, then no one will say anything and it looks great. If he get 3 sack and they go out in the first round of the playoffs or do not even make the playoffs and he is a non factor, then it looks horrible. Last year the Saints were criticized for giving up a 2018 2nd round pick to get a 3rd round pick in last years draft and that player they got with that pick turned out to be Alvin Kamara.

  12. I live in Utah. I saw Taysom Hill play in person against my Utah Utes and the guy is nothing special. BYU has produced many QBs better than Taysom Hill. Guys like Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer, and hell even Steve Sarkisian!

  13. The number of 1st Round picks that are busts or only average is surprising. The pick they gave up for next year has just as much a chance of being a bust as Davenport.

  14. allsyntax says:May 4, 2018 at 10:14 am
    Funny thing is, they didn’t need to trade that far up to get him. He wasn’t on anyone elses radar for that high of a selection.

    According to who’s “radar”? Mel Kiper’s? McShay’s? Remember, the radar who matters the most are the TEAM’s draft board, and they’re not sharing that with anyone, especially the media.

    Also, the Saints have a history of giving up a lot of picks to move up. Anyone remember Mike Ditka giving up the entire draft to get Ricky Williams?

  15. Everyone talks about the great draft last year as if it’s some reason to assume they’re geniuses this year.

    I seem to remember a multi year stretch right before last year with no playoffs.

    Which is it? Genius talent evaluators that can’t make the playoffs or people that got lucky one year?

  16. If Davenport becomes an All Pro pass rusher, no one will care. Though the trade made it clear the Saints want a Super Bowl before the Brees window closes.

  17. Here’s the thing, we wouldn’t really know the true cost until the end of the 2018 season. The Saints can finish anywhere between 10 to 32.

    The Saints had a good run last year but the injury bug is the great unknown. A couple of key injuries to their big playmakers can cost them 2 to 8 wins depending on how far into the season it happens. Or, they could get a run of injuries to a single position and that can cost them a lot of games.

    That is the risk to this trade. They must remain relatively healthy and Davenport needs to make a difference. Without both, the Saints will regret the trade next year.

  18. Seems to me they way overpaid. But I’m not a good talent evaluator and the Saints track record of late has been pretty good.

  19. Brees is 39 years old. Saints better hope he can make it through the season or Tayson Hill may lead the Packers to an early round pick in 2019.

  20. The Packers made out with highway robbery here. It’s no wonder PFF said they had a good argument for winning the draft.

  21. Seems like the Saints defensive line consists of four 5-tech defensive tackles, so some pass-rush diversity was needed. Davneport is a great gamble. His pass rushing ability is a work of art and he could develop into a top pass rusher very quickly. It’s a great D-Line contrast of what the Saints currently have.

  22. I clicked on Davenport’s player link above. According to an article in there the guy was Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. He set school records for sacks and tackles for loss. He was probably the focus of every team’s offense and was likely double-teamed on nearly every play. He’s tall and very fast. He is considered somewhat of a project which means he should have a big upside. The article also compares him to Aldon Smith. The only one who could stop Aldon Smith was Aldon Smith.

    Reading about this guy makes me think of Lawrence Taylor. He revolutionized the LB position with his power and speed. It sounds like this guy has those same traits and abilities. Whether he can work on becoming a pro and if the Saints can get the best out of him this guy could be pretty good.

    Trading two #1s for the 14th pick may be unheard of but so is drafting a Hall of Fame QB in the sixth round. Who wouldn’t have given up two first-round picks for him today? So-called experts like to criticize everything even when there is no telling if the kid will be a success or not. Only time will tell if it was worth it. From what I’ve read however, this guy is quite the prospect. Mayock said he was raw but his upside is off the charts. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out for the Saints.

  23. Pass rusher is a premium position in the NFL. You either give up high draft picks, or you pay them a ridiculous amount of money in free agency. I’ll go with the former, in a heartbeat. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t understand the game of football.

  24. Pass rushers come at a premium. Everybody knows that.

    We swapped our low first round pick for a higher one, then gave up next year’s first round pick, which is in all likelihood going to be a very low first round pick.

    That’s not a big price to pay, if he turns out to be anywhere near as good as they think he will be. Do the Saints have an eye for D-line talent? Cam Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, Tyeler Davison and Trey Hendrickson are all homegrown DL talent, so the answer would seem to be yes.

  25. The Saints would have been better off keeping next years’ #1 pick in case Brees gets injured or starts playing to his age.

    As well as they drafted last year, this year brought them back to their norm.

  26. 8 years ago, UT San Antonio did not have a football team. Now, they’ve beaten a Power Five team (Baylor, down after scandal, but still) and produced a first-round pick who a team believes is the missing link to a Super Bowl. They’re doing some work down there.

  27. This is a classic case of Gambler’s Ruin. You hit on a few bets (top of last year’s draft) and start to think you’re invincible and wager more and more. Every 1st round pick is a coin flip and they’re so confident about this coin flip that they are willing to give up a shot at next year’s.

  28. This is not “two first round picks”. This is a first round pick and a second round pick, in 2018, except that the Saints converted the 2018 second round pick to a 2019 first round pick, which had an equal value at the time of the deal. When the Jets traded up to take Robertson, it gave up the #13 and #22 picks in that year’s draft, which is an actual haul of two first rounders. After all, it was not unusual (though it has become less common) for a team to give up a next year first rounder for a current year second rounder, which would mean it had literally given up a first rounder for a second rounder straight up if you ignore the future year discount.

  29. If the Saints can go deep into the playoffs and Davenport goes out and has a good rookie season and shows potential to be great, I have no problem with the trade up. Hopefully,the Saints finally get the pass rusher that they have been searching for since Galette. Depending on the season, the cost of the trade could amount to only a late first round pick. A difference maker on defense is worth that. I will be watching to see how Landry from BC performs this season though.

  30. All the Saints had to do was look back at the last 8 or so years of their own history to see what happens to a team that goes all in and doesn’t plan for the future. They may do very well this year, but in a couple of years they’ll be back to those 7-9 seasons or worse.

  31. I remember najah davenport….via gb packers..via Miami hurricanes…. and correct me if im wrong but i remember he used to hook up with chicks in college and drop a deuce in their clothes hampers as his calling card or something to that effect…najah dumpenport…classy guy.

  32. “picking up Taysom Hill for nothing”. So you got a ST players off waivers from another team? How does that prove talent evaluation? Let’s wait and see if Hill even makes the roster this year before bragging on that one.

  33. Everyone talks about the great draft last year as if it’s some reason to assume they’re geniuses this year.
    I seem to remember a multi year stretch right before last year with no playoffs.
    Which is it? Genius talent evaluators that can’t make the playoffs or people that got lucky one year?
    ==================================================
    The improved Saints drafts from the last few years coincided with the Saints revamping their scouting department and hiring Jeff Ireland which resulted in better free agent and draft prospects. You should know what your talking about before commenting.

  34. The chiefs gave up just as much last year to go get mahomes. But, since it was for a qb nobody cared. Passrushers are the second most important position on the field (check the salaries if you disagree) yet they aren’t worth as much as a qb? The saints gave up about what was exactly expected according to the draft chart.

  35. And for the love of god, the saint didn’t give up 2 first rounders. They swapped first rounders and gave up a future 1 and 5.

  36. Adam Csrricker part 2. Too big for one area and too light in the pants for another. May be the tallest LBer in the league because he isn’t no DE

  37. THey didn’t give up 2 firts!!! Geez they gave up a 1st next year and a 5th this year. Keep in mind if they get the 32snd next year so what.

    by most accounts Davenport is a top 15 player. There is no way they could get that high of a potential talent siting where they were and repeat of last year. And if you find out how much they invested and scouted him they know something. They started giving him test and things to learn during the senior bowl when they were coaching him. Then asked him/tested him once the draft process begain.

  38. The Packers really pulled one on the Saints. I’m sure this guy will be good, but a first rounder? The Packers are made in the shade for the draft next year. If the Saints have a bad year (I’m sure they won’t. Good team), the Packers could be picking way early in the draft and than have whatever pick they have.

  39. rkt4mayor says:
    May 4, 2018 at 10:37 am
    The Saints were idiots plain and simple! Davenport would’ve been available prior to pick number 20 and they didn’t need to give up the haul they did for a guy who might just be a bust.
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Come on, man! I what you wrote, doesn’t even make sense. Know the facts. Saints were slated to pick #27. Davenport wouldn’t have been there at 27. Every pick poses a risk. Saints got their guy. On defense, elite pass rushers are nearly impossible to sign in FA. It’s not like they pulled a Ditka and gave up an entire draft for a RB that’s only ambition was to stay high!

  40. datdude84 says:
    May 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm
    And for the love of god, the saint didn’t give up 2 first rounders. They swapped first rounders and gave up a future 1 and 5.

    ————-

    Umm, yeah, that is horrible value for a player who has never played 1 snap in the NFL. he better be richard seymour part 2.

  41. And for the love of god, the saint didn’t give up 2 first rounders. They swapped first rounders and gave up a future 1 and 5.
    ***********************************************

    Semantics – they’re giving up 3 TOTAL picks (1st and 5th this year, plus 1st next year) to draft this guy, so he better be all-world or this will be an awful trade for them.

    That’s a steep price to pay for a mid 1st round guy and hopefully won’t come back to bite them in the backside next year if they have a bad year and end up with a top 15 pick.

  42. Umm, yeah, that is horrible value for a player who has never played 1 snap in the NFL. he better be richard seymour part 2.
    =====================================================
    Yeah but let me guess if the Hoodie made this trade for the same guy you would call him a genius right

  43. sb44champs says:
    May 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm
    Umm, yeah, that is horrible value for a player who has never played 1 snap in the NFL. he better be richard seymour part 2.
    =====================================================
    Yeah but let me guess if the Hoodie made this trade for the same guy you would call him a genius rightQ

    ——————

    Just the opposite. no one has even heard of this guy before and it is not the kind of draft you trade up in, especially that many spots.

  44. The hoodie was robbed last year as he gave up a 1st round pick for the use of Cooks for one year. Saints have a starting offensive lineman for the next five years or so. You win some and lose some. We shall see about Davenport

  45. Just to be clear. The saint gave up first round picks in 2018 and 2019, plus the fifth this year, for green bays first. Don’t matter how you say it they gave up 2 firsts and a fifth for a first.
    As a packer fan, nearly 75% of all mock drafts had Davenport at 14 going to the pack. So the place he was picked wasn’t out of line, what they gave up for the pick, was.

  46. Here’s the bottom line: A productive edge rusher today is the second most important position after the quarterback. So, making a similar kind of trade for one is sometimes necessary. The Saints got the player they needed, and if he does indeed make a difference, than the price wasn’t too high. Will the “experts” remember what they said if the Saints win the Super Bowl? No, because they already forgot what they said when the Saints moved up last year to draft Kamara. Perhaps the Saints will get a low grade in next year’s draft, but not this year. I trust the decisions of the Saints drafting staff over these sports writers who’ve never done anything but talk.

  47. ATTENTION NON SAINT FANS: The saints are loaded talent wise. The REBUILD is over. The saints will now resume HOUSING ALL your teams.
    THAT IS ALL… WHOOOOOO DATTTTTY!!!

  48. Here’s a list of Saints players recently picked that all fell under the “that’s stupid, bad move” category by the fans and experts: Andrews Peat, T. Armstead, M. Lattimore, A. Kamara.

  49. As a Saints fan, I agree that it is a lot to give up for a player. That being said, I really do think he may be the missing piece we need to get over the hump and win a Super Bowl or two. I think his ceiling is higher than Chubb, as he is a athletic freak of nature. I think this is a pick that in a few years, people may view much differently. If he hits his ceiling the trade will have been more than worth it.

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