When the Atlanta Falcons made Marlon Davidson the 47th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the team had high hopes of pairing him next to All-Pro Grady Jarrett on the defensive line to form one of the most formidable defensive line duos in the league.
"He's a fireball on that defensive line, bringing the energy," fellow Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett said to Falcons team reporter Scott Bair. "I love playing with him. I can't wait to see him get that full season under him. He had a rough run with injuries and other things. I'm excited for him. I'm expecting a big year from Marlon."
Last year was a rough year for Davidson. As with all 2020 rookies, Davidson faced an abbreviated offseason with limited offseason programming and practice reps. On top of that, Davidson was making the transition from defensive end to defensive tackle.
"You have to think about this: I played defensive end my last year in college," Davidson said. "I had to learn something totally different when I came here. I had to change myself. I had to change everything about me to be the person for the scheme and for my team.
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To make matters even worse, Davidson's health in 2020 was not up to par. He battled COVID and knee injuries all of last season.
Now, with the past behind him, he's ready to move forward and make a 180-degree turn in 2021.
He's had a strong start in camp and there's a sense of optimism surrounding the second-year pro and his ceiling for the upcoming season.
"I'm coming this year, man. I gotta get one back from last year. I have to prove it to myself, to all these Atlanta fans. I have to prove it to my family that I'm still that guy," Davidson said.
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