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NFL Draft Preview: Marlon Davidson

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Davidson has the versatility to play almost anywhere on a defensive line

NCAA Football: Auburn at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

After 51 games at Auburn, Marlon Davidson makes his move to the NFL as one of the most versatile defensive line prospects available. His size and strength allow him to play as a base defensive end that can slide inside on passing downs, and his athleticism allows him to be used in any sub package.

NFL Draft Profile

The Recruit

Davidson remains one of the highest rated recruits ever to sign at Auburn. He was the 19th highest as of our countdown last summer. He originally committed the day before the season opener in 2015. The brother of former Auburn defensive lineman and current assistant director of player development Ken Carter, Davidson was thought to be a heavy Auburn lean before his commitment. After the departure of Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp, Auburn had to work to hang on to him, but in the end Davidson signed on to one of the best defensive line classes in the country.

Auburn Career

Davidson wasted no time making a name for himself, earning a start against Clemson for the season opener as a true freshman. It takes a lot to impress Rodney Garner. It takes something else entirely to impress him enough to earn the starting job straight out of fall camp. Davidson would play in all 13 games and rack up 6 tackles-for-loss including 2.5 sacks. He added a half TFL and one sack in his sophomore season, and he maintained those numbers and added 3 blocked field goals in three consecutive games in 2018 as a junior.

Davidson could have been a second day draft pick last year, but he chose to honor a commitment to his mother, whom he lost before his freshman season, that he would complete his degree.

Davidson finished his career appearing in 51 of a possible 53 games. He was a team captain and was a player representative at SEC Media Days. He was named first team All-SEC and second team All American in his senior season as he posted 12.5 TFL with 7.5 sacks. He was named SEC defensive lineman of the week 4 times, including the win over Arkansas in which he had a strip-sack and recovery on the third play of the game to set up Auburn’s first touchdown.

Pro Prospects

Davidson projects as a versatile defensive end who could fit into almost any defensive system with the right coaching. While he could be picked as early as the late first round, he projects as a probable second round pick. He has officially met with the Browns, Jaguars, and Titans, but several other teams have expressed interest as well. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr has him as the 4th best DE prospect, and unfortunately* he has Marlon picked to go to the Seattle Seahawks with the 32nd pick of the 2nd round.

*-It would be great if he went in the second round. I just really hate the Seahawks