Marlon Davidson Overview
Position: Defensive Line
Weight: 303 pounds
Marlon Davidson 2020 NFL Draft Profile
After four productive seasons at Auburn, defensive lineman Marlon Davidson is looking to take his game to the professional level. Davidson had his best season yet with the Tigers, appearing in 596 defensive snaps while recording 16 run stops, eight sacks, eight hits, 27 hurries and one batted pass.
Davidson initially joined the collegiate ranks as a four-star recruit in 2016. Despite receiving attention from Alabama, Davidson ultimately chose to go to Auburn. After a relatively rough freshman campaign, Davidson started to come into his own during his sophomore season. Playing in 569 snaps, Davidson finished the year with 17 run stops, three sacks, three quarterback hits, 21 hurries, and one pass breakup. He followed this up with an even better 2018, recording 19 run stops, four sacks, nine hits, 21 hurries, and two pass breakups on 678 snaps.
- Has the build and versatility to play all across the defensive line;
- Strong player that can overpower opponents with muscle alone;
- Sets the edge well and excels at eating up space;
- Steadily improved year after year and had his best season as a Senior;
- Starting since age 18 suggests he’s a fast learner and can easily pick up the NFL game.
- Too slow for the edge, not quite big enough for an interior position;
- Gets lost in space and struggles to track down the ball carrier on edge runs;
- Limited pass rusher with only one real move;
- Takes a while to get going off the line, pedestrian acceleration;
- Might be forced to bulk up and play inside at the NFL level;
- Struggled against top competition;
- Footwork needs to improve, and lack of ideal technique shows up when on the interior.
NFL Comparison: Kony Ealy
Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projection: Round 2
Bottom Line on Marlon Davidson
Marlon Davidson is going to be good, but he’s never going to be great. He looks the part at 6’-3” and 303 pounds, and his ability to line up all over the formation is obviously a plus. He excels at eating up space and setting the edge and is an overall positive against the run. Additionally, he has the muscle to blow past weaker offensive linemen, although he’s not that dynamic as a pass rusher. His consistent improvement and history of solid play suggests he should translate to the NFL.
That said, Davidson is capped at being a league-average starter. He’s something of a ‘tweener, as he’s too small to be a full-time interior defender but not fast enough to play on the edge. His most probable way to a starting job involves bulking up and playing on the interior, and it’s no secret that interior defenders aren’t as valuable as edge rushers (Aaron Donald notwithstanding). He can last in the league for a while as a rotational defensive lineman, but he probably won’t develop into anything more than just a ‘fine’ player.
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