Atlanta Falcons 2020 NFL Draft grades: A lesson in not letting desperation control the board

Clemson Tigers - A.J. Terrell (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Clemson Tigers - A.J. Terrell (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Holland, LB, Auburn Tigers
AUBURN, AL – SEPTEMBER 2: Defensive lineman Marlon Davidson #3 and linebacker Jeff Holland #4 of the Auburn Tigers celebrate after sacking quarterback Shai Werts #4 of the Georgia Southern Eagles during the second half of an NCAA college football game at Jordan Hare Stadium on Saturday, September 2, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. Marlon Davidson. 47. player. Scouting Report. DL. Auburn. 842

Upside is everything in the NFL Draft, and Marlon Davidson is full of it.

Risk is also a big part of drafting, and it feels like the Falcons took one with Davidson, on the chance that his upside will payoff. There’s no questioning how physical Davidson is, nor can his hustle be questioned either. Almost everything about him screams potential, the kind that makes picks like this end up looking great in a few years.

But the risk is that Davidson is switching positions in the NFL, which is never a great way to start a career. He played quick and strong off the defensive edge at Auburn but he will be converting to defensive tackle with the Falcons. There’s a chance the Falcons use him in both positions, as edge rush has always been something Dan Quinn’s defense has lacked, but that’s asking a lot.

This goes back to the desperation pick in the first round, and how the Falcons should have flipped positional needs with their two picks. Davidson is a fine prospect who might very will become an important part of whatever Raheem Morris is going to do as defensive coordinator, but the defensice back talent available when the Falcons took him is going to be directly compared with how Davidson performs in his career.

The Falcons doubled down on defense with Marlon Davidson, here’s to hoping it all works out.