The Atlanta Falcons love to have a rotation at defensive tackle that goes at least four deep, with Grady Jarrett dominating snaps, a passing down option like Jack Crawford available beside him, and a potent run stopper like Deadrin Senat available to soak up early down snaps as well. The fourth guy is typically a veteran who can do a little bit of everything for 15-30 snaps per game, and that player is currently not on the roster.
All along, we’ve suggested that if the Falcons aren’t going to make a big move up for an elite player like Ed Oliver, they’d be exploring affordable options on the free agent market. One of the names we mentioned was ex-Saint Tyeler Davison, and it appears there’s at least a level of interest there for Atlanta.
The #Falcons are bringing in veteran DT Tyeler Davison for a visit, sources say. An under-the-radar player, he’s been a starter the last three seasons (while starting a few games in 2015) for the #Saints and would fill a need in ATL if all goes well and he signs.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 8, 2019
Davison isn’t the most compelling candidate, but he ticks a lot of boxes for Atlanta. He has extensive starting experience at 26 years old, having logged 48 starts over four seasons in New Orleans as a defensive end and defensive tackle. He has just 3.5 career sacks and isn’t much of a pass rusher, but he’s a solid run stopper who has turned in back-to-back quality years in that regard for the Saints in 2017 and 2018. He’s likely to be reasonably affordable, given his lack of market here in free agency thus far, and would pair nicely with Jarrett or Senat on early downs, as well as make a solid enough option at end at times when the Falcons want to sell out to stop the run. He’s young enough to have some good football ahead of him, too.
A DT grouping of Jarrett, Crawford, Davison and Senat (and maybe Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, if the team is carrying five) would give the Falcons two strong pass rushers and three guys who carry justified reputations as quality run stoppers into the year.
We’ll see if this interest turns into a signing. If it does, chances are good that the Falcons won’t make any major moves at defensive tackle in the draft, freeing them up to spend more draft capital at key positions like defensive end, right tackle, and cornerback. If a signing doesn’t materialize before the draft, Davison can safely be assumed to be a fallback option if the Falcons strike out in late April.