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Grading Lions Signing EDGE Marcus Davenport

What grade should Lions receive for Davenport signing?
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Defensive end Marcus Davenport is reportedly reuniting with former Saints assistants Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn in Detroit. He agreed to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million in base salary. He could make a maximum of $10.5 million in 2024. 

Davenport, who most recently played for the Lions’ divisional rivals from Minnesota, spent the first five seasons of his NFL career in New Orleans. A 2018 first-round pick of the Saints, he totaled 142 tackles, including 25 for loss, 21.5 sacks and 60 quarterback hits in 63 career games with the Louisiana-based organization.

His best statistical season came in 2019, when he produced a career-best nine sacks, 16 QB hits, nine tackles for loss and three forced fumbles in just 11 games. 

Additionally, during his final two seasons in New Orleans (2021 and 2022), he posted respectable Pro Football Focus pass-rush grades of 82.0 and 75.0, respectively. Plus, in those two aforementioned campaigns, he recorded PFF overall marks of 88.8 (a career-high) and 76.8, respectively. 

He failed to replicate that level of production in his lone season in Minnesota, though. He suited up for just four games in 2023 due to an ankle injury, amassing two sacks and a total of seven tackles. For his efforts, he earned a dismal overall mark of 55.4 from PFF, including a subpar pass-rush grade of 60.1. 

In signing Davenport, the Lions are hoping the 6-foot-6, 265-pound defender reverts to his pre-Minnesota level of production. If he does, he'll end up being a valuable piece for the Lions’ defense. At this present juncture, he profiles as a rotational pass-rusher for Detroit. And, if he's able to stay healthy, he might just end up being the perfect EDGE complement to Pro Bowler Aidan Hutchinson

At first glance, I'll give this signing an average grade. 

Yet, I believe it could become a more impactful acquisition if Davenport is able to suit up for the majority of the 2024 campaign.

Grade: C+