DE Marlon Davidson, Auburn

6’3” – 297 lbs.

Team captain who has been starting at defensive end for the Tigers for the past four seasons, totaling 51 career starts over that span. Went 38-6.0-2.5 as a freshman, 43-6.5-3.5 as a sophomore, 46-4.5-3.5 as a junior, and 48-12.5-7.5 as a senior. Very big for a defensive end; weighed in nineteen pounds higher than his listed weight of 278, with arms which measured in at just under 33”, an adequate figure. Was moved around the formation pretty regularly at Auburn, typically playing on the end in both even and odd fronts, sometimes out of a two-point stance, but also kicking inside to tackle on occasion. Plays the game with a high motor and some physicality; more naturally powerful than nasty, with a somewhat more graceful game than anticipated from a bigger defensive end. Uses both speed- and power-based approaches to getting after the quarterback, typically trying to win the edge and regularly mixing in speed-to-power snaps. Has quick reactions to the ball being snapped and covers pretty good ground with his first step. Bend and hip flexibility are better than usual for a player with his size. Doesn’t have a ton of moves but is active with his hands and can set up opposing blockers a little bit. Effectively walks back opposing tackles with his bull rush when converting speed to power. Can smoothly bend back to the passer when he wins the edge. Biggest issue is occasional balance issues which crop up; can be caught bending at the waist, or more rarely slip to the ground when trying to dip around the edge. Solid run defender whose ability to anticipate snap counts and locate the ball allow him to two-gap successfully. Fires out low with some explosiveness, and is capable of locking out opponents, getting his head up, and shedding at the appropriate time, or making tackles while engaged. Demonstrates good discipline when setting the edge or when left open as the read man. Gives good effort in pursuit and looks better in space than his size would suggest, but isn’t a major threat to make tackles near the sidelines in the screen game or on tosses. Tackling radius leaves a little bit to be desired. Also has had success blocking kicks on special teams, with three blocks as a junior. An interesting prospect who combines impressive size, strength, discipline, and polish with more athleticism than anticipated; might be best as more of a jumbo defensive end or elephant linebacker at the next level.

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