Marlon Davidson 2020 NFL Draft Profile
2020 NFL Draft
Marlon Davidson is a defensive end out of Auburn who is expected to be an early-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. With three bowl games under his belt, Davidson has the big-game pedigree that NFL teams will be looking for when they’re on the clock.
College Career: Davidson was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, and was heavily recruited by some major programs. Auburn won out, in part because Davidson’s brother played football and was on staff there. The Tigers were rewarded immediately, as Davidson started all 13 games and was the first freshman to start on the D-line at that school since way back in 1985.
Davidson started all four years with Auburn and kept getting better with each season. In 2019 he posted 49 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass defense, which helped him make First Team All-SEC.
Strengths: Davidson could have left Auburn after his junior season, but chose to stay and earn his degree thanks to a promise he made to his late mother. He’s got some great diversity as a lineman, and coordinators can utilize him to get creative with their schemes. Davidson can brutalize tight ends at the point of attack, and he sets very strong edges.
With nimble movements and great lateral technique, Davidson can vary up his rush speed to flummox offensive linemen. He’s also a pretty darn good special teams asset, as he blocked three kicks last season.
Weaknesses: Some scouts will knock Davidson’s true positional value; he played in just 51 percent of snaps against the run. He may have issues adjusting to the interior game, as his balance and footwork there are not up to par.
The powerful Alabama offensive line gave Davidson some real struggles, and he’s had issues finding the football as he works his way through blocks. Davidson’s stride isn’t the longest, and he takes a little extra time getting upfield off those first few steps. That discrepancy will be magnified at the NFL level.
Potential Fits: Even with the few issues he has, most teams would be happy to take Davidson. He’s a loyal, high-character guy who could blossom with a little practice time and the right situation. We’ll probably start hearing his name early in the second round, as we’re expecting a rush on high-upside edge guys, linebackers and corners in that range.
Cleveland has the No. 41 overall pick, and they could really use Davidson’s explosiveness and power. His blend of speed and strength would offer a nice complement to Myles Garrett, and could help make the Browns' pass rushers a unit to be feared.
Further down in the third round, we have the Lions at No. 85 overall. Detroit lost some of their linemen in free agency, and getting Davidson here would be just about the best situation they could ask for. I don’t think he’ll last that long, however; we’re probably looking at a second-round selection for Davidson. He’s just too promising to pass up, and a lot of teams need edge rushers in this draft.