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Saints paid an unusually big price to draft Marcus Davenport

2018 NFL Draft

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Marcus Davenport of UTSA poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #14 overall by the New Orleans Saints during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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When the Saints were on the clock after the surprising decision to trade away next year’s first-round draft pick to move up in this year’s first round, there was widespread speculation that they must be planning to draft a quarterback. Because typically, that’s the only position that teams will give up two first-round draft picks to get.

Instead, the Saints drafted pass rusher Marcus Davenport.

A move like that is almost unheard of. The last time a team packaged two first-round draft picks to move up and draft a defensive player was in 2003, when the Jets sent two first-round picks to the Bears to select Dewayne Robertson.

And giving up two first-round picks for the 14th overall pick is unheard of: According to ESPN, it was the first time since the AFL-NFL merger that a team gave away two first-round draft picks to acquire a pick outside the Top 12.

Which means the Saints must think Davenport is not just a good player, but a potentially franchise-changing player, the kind of pass rusher who can be the difference between a team that lost in the divisional round of the playoffs last season and a team that can win the Super Bowl this season. The best way to make the Davenport trade pay off is to make sure the pick the Saints traded away is No. 32 overall.