There are not many tells when it comes to Reggie McKenzie. The Oakland Raiders general manager moves in deliberate fashion, one that is at his own pace. He is neither to be rushed nor swayed into a decision.
Yet, there is one particular tell when it comes to the GM: The McKenzie Method (MM). MM dictates sacks or picks as priority in the first round. A defensive prospect must excel at one or the other.
UTSA’s Marcus Davenport is a blossoming sack artist and that alone will pique the Raiders’ interest. Is the San Antonio native a Top 10 selection? Here is a breakdown of why Oakland will take him as well as dissenting opinions of why he will not be a Raider.
Why Raiders take him:
- Khalil Mack needs a legitimate tag team partner on the defensive line. At 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds, Davenport checks every box physically. His violent rush style perfectly complements Mack’s beastly surgical nature. There is also the ripple effect of getting to play across from one of the game’s young and feared pass rushers will help Davenport refine his own game.
- Edge rushers come at a premium. The Raiders are famished for pass rush with Mack (10.5 sacks) and linebacker Bruce Irvin (8) as the few teeth in Oakland’s attack. This allows teams to scheme for Mack. Davenport not only provides supreme upside as a player who has untapped rush prowess, he gives the Raiders another must-account-for edge rusher.
- He will not be available in the second round. Some will point to Davenport not breaking the double-digit sacks barrier (21.5 total sacks in four years at UTSA with 8.5 highest single-season output) in college and that’s a fair assessment. However, based solely off the size/speed ratio and tantalizing coachability, a team in the first round will rely on Davenport. In a quarterback driven league, teams are champing at the bit to add weapons to combat the league’s signal callers.
Why Raiders do not take him:
- Bradley Chubb (somehow) falls to Oakland. Considered the premiere pass rush talent in the draft, Chubb was the top edge rusher in collegiate football (Pro Football Focus rankings) last season and is the class of sack artists. He falls to 9 or 10 and the Raiders better sprint up to the podium.
- The 9th or 10th pick is too high for a “project”. Davenport trailed Chubb as the top quarterback harrier this past season, yet, his tackling is a work in progress. Form tackles eluded him and that hindrance resulted in fewer sacks this past year. The Raiders are in dire need of Day 1 impact. A Top 10 pick should be sound in most aspects of their game, especially tackling for a defender.
- He is not the best player available (BPA). McKenzie is adamant his draft mantra is always BPA. He will consistently refer to “the board” pre and post draft. The Top 10 is rife with talent at numerous positions. Moreover, Davenport may not be the BPA when Oakland is on the clock. The wild card here, of course, is new head coach Jon Gruden. He is not making a reported $100 million just to stand pat and not have sway over personnel decisions.