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Marlon Davidson Scouting Reports


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NFL Draft Bible:

Overview: A versatile defender who moved inside/outside along the Tigers front line, Davidson flashes a quick first step and pure brute strength. A tough, hard-nosed player who started 51 of 53 games played, he was off to an impressive start at the Senior Bowl before an ankle sprain landed him in a walking book and he had to shut it down for the remainder of the week. Davidson owns a great personality because he brings a ton of energy and effort to everything he does on the field and is loosey-goosey with teammates off the field. He placed a greater emphasis on his diet and conditioning heading into his senior season and has been climbing up draft boards. He has a future in the NFL as a three technique and possibly as a first round pick.

Career: In 51 career games, had 175 tackles (29.5 tackles for loss), 17 sacks, nine pass deflections, four forced fumbles, four recoveries and three blocks.     

 

 

Dane Brugler:

BACKGROUND: Marlon Davidson Jr., who is the youngest of four, grew up in Greenville and started his prep career at Greenville High School where he spent his freshman and sophomore years, playing linebacker and defensive line. Looking for better opportunities, his family moved to Montgomery and he transferred to G.W. Carver High School for his junior season, finishing with 69 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks. He was also a part of G.W. Carver’s 2015 6A state championship basketball team. However, his mother (Cynthia Carter) died at age 47 after falling when getting into her car (February 2015), which prompted his return to Greenville for his senior year. Davidson, who gave up basketball and focused on football as a senior, helped lead Greenville to an undefeated regular season in 2015, finishing with 65 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions. He was named an All-American and became just the second player in school history to win the Class 5A Lineman of the Year Award.
 
A four-star defensive end recruit out of high school, Davidson ranked as the No. 3 player in the state of Alabama, one spot ahead of Quinnen Williams (New York Jets) and one spot behind his close friend and former G.W. Carver teammate Mack Wilson (Cleveland Browns). He considered offers from programs like Alabama, LSU, Michigan and others, but Auburn was always the favorite. His older brother (Ken Carter) was a defensive lineman at Auburn (2010-13) and has been on the coaching staff since 2015 as a defensive analyst. Davidson graduated with his bachelor’s degree (December 2019). He accepted his invitation to the 2020 Senior Bowl.
 
YEAR (GP/GS) TKLS TFL SACK FF PD INT  NOTES   2016: (13/13) 38 6.0 2.5 1 4 0  SEC All-Freshman; First true freshman to start the season opener on the DL since 1985 2017: (13/13) 43 6.5 3.5 1 1 0 2018: (13/13) 46 4.5 3.5 0 3 0  Three blocked kicks (all field goals in consecutive games), which led the SEC and ranked second nationally 2019: (12/12) 48 12.5 7.5 2 1 0  Second team All-America; First team All-SEC; Team captain Total: (51/51) 175 29.5 17.0 4 9 0  
 
 HT WT ARM HAND WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP    COMBINE 6033 303 33 10 80 1/2 5.04 2.94 1.78 - - - - 21 (no jumps, shuttle, 3-cone – left hamstring) PRO DAY N/A (stood on combine numbers; positional drills only)
 
STRENGTHS: Disrupts the pocket with his ability to sidestep blocks or squeeze through gaps…strong club rip and swat moves to erase the hands of blockers…strong, hungry hands to work off contact…excellent body lean, extending his long-arm into the body of blockers…doesn’t lose his bearings or balance easily…good feel for counters, finding a plan B when his original move is stopped…anticipates well vs. the run, allowing him to string moves outside…affects the game with his effort, chasing down tackles…thick body composition with positional versatility…finds passing lanes (nine passes defended in his career)…known as one of the harder workers in the program and called “emotionally mature” by his coaches…durable and logged 51 starts over his career.
 
WEAKNESSES: Upright rusher with inconsistent leverage…not going to consistently surprise NFL offensive tackles with burst around the edge…needs to rely more on his length to expand his options…bad habit of head-ducking once engaged, losing sight of the ball…needs to be a better finisher in the backfield…medicals aren’t a concern, but did sit out one game as a senior due to lower back tightness (November 2019); suffered a left hamstring injury during the combine (February 2020).
 
SUMMARY: A four-year starter at Auburn, Davidson played base end (opposite the “buck”) in defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s four-man base, primarily lining up outside the shoulder of the tackle or tight end, occasionally moving inside over the B-gap. After pedestrian numbers each of his first three seasons, he took his game to another level as a senior, leading the team in tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks (7.5). By expanding his hand tactics between his junior and senior seasons, Davidson became a more efficient stack-shed player, shaking loose from blocks due to his play strength and hand timing. While agile in his movements, he isn’t a sudden player, which will create more hurdles in the NFL. Overall, Davidson is a jumbo end with only average speed off the edge, but he works for his production with the foot/hand quickness and overall balance to defeat blockers, projecting as a starting-level base end or three-technique tackle.
 

NFL.com:

Davidson had a chance to leave the Tigers after his junior season, but he stayed true to a promise he made to his late mother about earning his degree. He started all 13 games in 2018 (46 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks), the third straight year he accomplished that feat. Davidson also blocked three kicks during the year, tying for second in the FBS. Davidson made his return count, grabbing first-team All-SEC honors as a senior after tying Derrick Brown for the team lead with 12.5 tackles for loss and topping his squad with 7.5 sacks (also posting 48 tackles and two fumbles). The Greenville, Alabama, native was a USA Today All-American before heading to The Plains to earn SEC All-Freshman honors (38 tackles, six for loss, 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups). Davidson was an important part of Auburn's front line as a sophomore, too (42 tackles, six for loss, three sacks).
 
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Round 2
NFL Comparison
Vinny Curry
Overview
Four-year starter who posted elevated production against the run and pass as a senior. Davidson has been durable and his play consistent, but he fails to really stand out in the shadow of teammate Derrick Brown. The team who drafts him will need to determine how best to utilize him because despite his build, he's most effective when playing outside the tackle. He's athletic enough to work as a base 4-3 end with sub-rush talent, but getting over the hump from good backup to starter might take time.
Strengths
  • Might offer scheme diversity
  • Plays standing or with a hand down
  • Sets strong edges and able to dominate tight ends at point of attack
  • Nimble feet with lateral movement
  • Stride speed to work into gaps as three-technique
  • Body type belies abilities as outside rusher
  • Can stutter and alter rush speed to create uncertainty
  • Inside quickness to take advantage of over-sets
  • Hand usage at top of the rush is efficient and effective
  • Has spin counter and is able to tie rush moves together
  • Three blocked kicks last season
Weaknesses
  • Some scouts question his true positional fit
  • Played just 51 percent of snaps against the run
  • Could have issues adjusting as interior player if asked
  • Footwork and contact balance inconsistent along interior
  • Struggled against Alabama's power
  • Needs to thump pulling blocks before looking to make a play
  • Inconsistent locating the football over playing the block
  • Not a big ground gainer on first three rush steps upfield from edge
  • Powerful hands can stall his inside rush
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I think he’s going to be a fantastic player. Overshadowed by Derrick Brown but he made a name for himself. 
 

All that time at DE only helped him be quicker and more violent with his hands against some of the better pass blockers in college. Kickin him inside with Grady spells trouble for any QB. Love his energy and effort and you can just tell he loves getting to the QB and making plays. 

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He's got the same hand violence and upper body strength that made Rod Coleman such a vicious pass rusher from the DT position. Rod was constantly knifing into the backfield disrupting plays.

I REALLY like he stayed his senior season, we get a well developed DL that played against top talent in college.  He's going to look really good on passing downs playing next to Grady Jarrett, Fowler and Takk.

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