Saints trade up to No. 14 to draft Marcus Davenport

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport made it clear this week the New Orleans Saints were a candidate to move up in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Ultimately, Mr. RapSheet was correct.

The Saints on Thursday night swung a trade with the Packers -- rising from No. 27 to No. 14 overall -- to grab edge rusher Marcus Davenport. To complete the deal, New Orleans agreed to give up this year's fifth-rounder (No. 147) and next year's first-round selection.

Many expected the Saints to grab quarterback Lamar Jackson, giving the team a promising heir to Drew Brees, but coach Sean Payton and friends had different plans.

"This is an exciting, young edge rusher. He's very raw but his upside is off the charts," NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock said of Davenport. "When you're talking about an edge rusher, he's raw but gifted, I love his motor and body type. Reminds me a lot of Ziggy Ansah."

The 6-foot-5, 263-pound pass-rusher out of University of Texas-San Antonio is viewed as a promising whirlwind in need of some fine-tuning.

"He's got everything you want physically," one scout told Bob McGinn of "He's raw. He's got really good pass-rush potential. Plays with pretty good instincts."

Davenport gives the Saints a juicy rookie presence to pair with the phenomenal Cameron Jordan ahead of Alex Okafor, Hau'oli Kikaha and Trey Hendrickson.

Payton's offensive lineup has long been the headlining staple of the Saints franchise, but the past two drafts have given New Orleans a powerful punch on defense. Davenport should help right away.

Relive the sights and top moments from AT&T Stadium as all 32 NFL teams converge for the 2018 NFL Draft.

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