Photo Credit: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics
With the 47th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected Auburn edge rusher Marlon Davidson.
In 2019, Davidson was a Second Team All-American and First Team All-SEC honoree. In 51 career games, Davidson has 175 total tackles (29.5 TFL), 17.0 sacks and four forced fumbles. Davidson is a Reese’s Senior Bowl invitee.
Even at 6-3 and almost 300 pounds, Davidson is a rare breed of athleticism and power. Although Davidson primarily played as a 3-4 outside linebacker in college, it’s likely that he moves into an interior role at the next level.
The most important part of Davidson’s game is his versatility. As teams continue to move away from base packages on defense, the ability to play multiple positions makes him a player that teams desire. Although Davidson’s role is likely in sub-packages early on in his NFL career, the future is bright for Davidson.
Along with Davidson’s athleticism, his hands create heavy power, allowing him to get past offensive linemen. Even without a strong bend, his first step is surprisingly quick for his size. With some help with his feet and continued development with his shedding techniques, Davidson has the potential to develop into a strong player in the NFL.
Davidson’s player comparison is close to Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Breeland Speaks, who was selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
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What the Analysts Say
For the NFL, Davidson is a physical defender at the point of attack who is tough as nails and difficult to move in the ground game. He holds his gap well with the strength to work off blocks. With his quality lateral anchor and good leverage, offensive linemen struggle to move Davidson. –Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball
Davidson will appeal to defenses that play an even front, as an early-down edge setter who kicks inside on passing downs. He has a chance to be an impact player in both phases. –Athlon Sports
The Atlanta Falcons were desperate for defensive line help and Marlon Davidson solves the beginning of the easy part. Davidson likely slots in as a defensive end in the beginning, taking over for Vic Beasley. Pairing Davidson with Grady Jarrett, one of the league’s best defensive tackles, makes the Falcons defensive line a formidable grouping.