It was funny when people tried to compare Leonard Floyd to former Vic Fangio star student Aldon Smith. In truth, Fangio was the only thing similar between two pass rushers that couldn’t be more different. In addition to Smith being a head case and Floyd not, their body types and athletic traits are on opposite sides of the fence. However, it seems another young pass rusher has emerged in the 2018 class. One who might more closely resemble the former All-Pro.

Now people not familiar must understand why this is such a thing. Under Fangio, Smith was an unstoppable monster in San Francisco. In four seasons from 2011 to 2014, despite missing 14 games, he had 44 sacks. He averaged 11 sacks a season despite missing almost a full season of game action. That’s insane. Since then people have wondered where and when Fangio might find his next Smith.

According to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, there may be one name who’s starting to creep into that profile. A player that emerged out of nowhere in the past few months.

Marcus Davenport could become a monster under Vic Fangio

The University of Texas-San Antonio is not your usual factory for NFL talent. In fact none of their players in school history were drafted prior to tight end David Morgan in 2016. The interesting thing though is Larry Coker was the head coach at UTSA when Davenport was recruited. Coker had a direct hand in developing future NFL stars like Vince Wilfork and Calais Campbell. He knows what good pass rushers look like.

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So why is Davenport considered so much like Smith? One merely should look at the combine numbers for an idea:

Smith:
  • 6’4″
  • 35-inch arms
  • 263 lbs
  • 4.78 in 40-yard dash
  • 20 reps on bench
  • 34-inch vertical
  • 118-inch broad
  • 7.19 three-cone
Davenport:
  • 6’6″
  • 34-inch arms
  • 264 lbs
  • 4.58 in 40-yard dash
  • 22 reps on bench
  • 33.5-inch vertical
  • 124-inch broad
  • 7.2 three-cone

There are some minor differences. Davenport is a little taller and faster. Smith was a little longer. Still, their weights, bench presses, vertical jumps and three cone times? Virtually identical. Even better. His two years at Missouri, Smith had 14.5 sacks. Davenport had 15 his final two years at UTSA. Pretty scary how similar they are, huh?

Truth be told there is one notable gulf between them. Smith was a far more polished pass rusher when he came out of Missouri. That’s no surprise. The school was and still is known for excellent coaching in that area. Davenport still has a ways to go before he’s ready to take on more experience NFL linemen. Then again that’s why you pay Fangio the big bucks.

These were the same problems that bedeviled Floyd coming out of Georgia. He seems to have become a credible rusher in his own right and he didn’t do it nearly as often as Davenport has in college. So he has that going for him, which is nice.