Falcons 2023 free-agent profile: DE Marcus Davenport

After spending years in salary cap hell, the Atlanta Falcons will finally have money to sign free agents this offseason. The NFL set the 2023 salary cap ceiling at $224.8 million, which projects the Falcons to have over $56 million available.

Since the team hired New Orleans Saints assistant Ryan Nielsen as defensive coordinator, one name to watch this offseason is Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport. Not only is Nielsen familiar with Davenport, the former first-round pick could potentially give Atlanta’s pass rush a much-needed boost.

Free Agent Profile: DE Marcus Davenport

  • Age: 26

  • Height: 6-6

  • Weight: 265 lbs

  • NFL Experience: 5 Years

  • Average Market Value (Spotrac): $23.2 Million per year

Davenport won’t be the only Saints player linked to Atlanta this offseason, but he makes sense given his age (26) and ability to get consistent pressure. He has been an effective starter for five years. While Davenport’s low sack total in 2022 may lead you to believe he had a bad year, his 27 QB hurries and 42 total pressures say otherwise.

Davenport graded out with a 76.4 PFF grade this season, but he really shined in 2021, finishing with an 88 overall defensive grade. Despite being extremely raw coming out of college, Davenport’s ability to get pressure helped the Saints finish top 10 in sacks in each of his five years in the NFL. Against the run, Davenport has been solid over, it not above average. Perhaps the idea of playing for Nielsen again will be enough to entice Davenport to come to Atlanta.

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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire