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Why the Saints traded a 2019 1st-round pick to the Packers to take Marcus Davenport

The Saints traded up 13 picks in the first round and didn’t go after a quarterback.

NFL: NFL Draft-Red Carpet Arrivals Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints made a splash Thursday night, moving up 13 spots and sending a 2019 first-round pick to the Green Bay Packers so they could get the No. 14 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and select UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport.

It’s a pricy trade for the Saints that also included a fifth-round pick:

The thought from many was that it would be Lamar Jackson taken with the No. 14 pick, but the surprising move was that it was for a defensive end.

Why did the Saints make the trade?

The deal was surprising because blockbuster deals typically involve quarterbacks and Lamar Jackson was still on the board. It’s also surprising considering how raw Davenport is as a prospect.

But the ceiling for the player is why the pick could turn into a steal for the Saints.

Davenport is built like Jadeveon Clowney and has the athleticism to be just as good. The problem is that he’s still very much a work in progress and has a long way to go before he’ll be a double-digit pass rusher.

The Detroit Lions took a similar risk when they took Ezekiel Ansah and it worked out well for the Lions. But Davenport may be even further away from a finished product than Ansah was.