2020 NFL Draft: 2nd Round, 35th Overall
The Detroit Lions select…
Name: Marlon Davidson
Position: Defensive Line
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 303
2019 Stats: 12 games played, 6.5 sacks, 48 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss
Draft Round Projection:
Pick Analysis: The Lions began the overhaul of their defensive line early in the offseason, parting ways with Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson and acquiring Danny Shelton and Nick Williams, but the work is far from done. Here is a versatile piece to help continue that transition.
Davidson isn’t as highly-regarded as his Auburn linemate Derrick Brown, who will be long gone by this point in the draft. However, he had an excellent 2019 for the Tigers, teaming with Brown to form one of the most disruptive interior duos in the country. He consistently beats blockers with speed and constantly gets into the backfield. His sacks and TFL totals are evidence of that.
Davidson certainly benefitted from the extra attention paid to Brown during their time together, but he has a pro-ready game himself and should be able to contribute immediately in a rotational role. The Lions love defensive linemen who can set up at multiple spots, and Davidson could play a big end role to help set the edge against the run, as well as shifting inside on passing downs.
He has a similar build as current Lion 3-technique Da’Shawn Hand, so there is definitely some overlap. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and Hand’s injury woes have left the Lions unable to rely on him, as tantalizing as his talent is.
Whether or not Davidson can consistently control two gaps up front would likely determine how much playing time he receives in year one. But, he made plays consistently in a similar scheme at Auburn, and he has a nasty streak that would be a welcome addition to the Lions’ defensive front