Draft Prospect Profile | DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson Thompson

Auburn defensive lineman Marlon Davidson almost quit football in the eighth grade. After getting into an argument with his Pop Warner coach, Davidson left practice early in what he presumed was his last football practice.

When Davidson told his mother Cynthia Carter that he had quit, his announcement was not received well, and he was instructed to go back to practice the next day.

Nine years later, Davidson, whose mother died after a fall caused her to develop a fatal blood clot in her head, is a top defensive line prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft.

At Auburn, Davidson played in the shadow of teammate and top defensive line prospect Derrick Brown, but still managed to earn All-SEC honors in 2019 as a senior after leading the team in sacks with 7.5 and tying Brown with 12.5 tackles for loss.

With Davidson's immense frame, he fits general manager Dave Gettleman's depiction of a "hog molly." But he is also athletic enough to play as an end in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, which is good news for a Giants team that, under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, figures to play a mixture of both.

Davidson's massive frame and upper body strength, which to some might scream 0-tech or 1-tech, might be misleading, as it is just one part of his game. He possesses nimble feet with lateral movement and stride speed to work into gaps as 3-technique.

Davidson plays best on the edge, but there has been some question as to how well he'll be able to bend the edge at the NFL level. 

That lack of flexibility combined with a lack of experience playing in the interior has led some scouts to question Davidson's true positional fit and where he would best thrive in the NFL.

Why He's A Fit

Graham's multiple-front defense would probably put Davidson in a variety of roles. The scheme variety would give Davidson experience in multiple gaps of the defensive front, and opportunities to test where he would best fit in an NFL defense.

The Giants defensive line is currently stacked with the veteran talent; however, two key projected starters are currently unsigned beyond 2020.

With the immediate long-term futures of Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson not yet resolved, if the Giants were to need some additional youth on their defensive line, Davidson could supplement the unit. 

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