We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
We’ll get things started with the projected starters. The second group I’ll be taking a look at is DT, where the Falcons invested a second-round pick in Marlon Davidson and re-signed run-stuffing specialist Tyeler Davison. Just how good can this unit be in 2020?
Today we’ll shift our focus to the veteran Tyeler Davison, who enters his second season with the Falcons in 2020.
DT Tyeler Davison
Age: 27 (28 during 2020 season)
Contract: $2.32M cap hit in 2020, signed through 2022 ($4M APY)
Career Production: 77 games played, 60 games started | 150 total tackles, 13.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 PD, 3 FF
2019 Production: 16 games played, 12 games started | 55 total tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 4 total pressures
Previous Teams: Drafted 5th round (#154 overall) by the New Orleans Saints (2015-2018), Atlanta Falcons (2019-present)
A player from the same draft class as Falcons’ star DT Grady Jarrett—who was also drafted in the 5th round—Tyeler Davison has made a name for himself in the NFL as a very effective run-stuffing 4-3 NT. While not overwhelming in terms of size (he’s not the typical 6’3, 330 pound behemoth you’d expect in a 3-4 NT), Davison is a pretty impressive athlete with excellent length and burst.
Davison began his career playing for the rival New Orleans Saints, where he served as a rotational player during his rookie season. He continued to earn more playing time each year, becoming a full-time starter in 2016. While never offering outstanding production, Davison was an effective space-eater for the Saints and also provided a little bit of push as a pass rusher.
Davison had his strongest season with the Saints in a contract year in 2018, putting together a 23 tackle, 2.0 TFL, 2.0 sack campaign despite missing multiple games due to injury. That impressive effort was enough for the Falcons to take a chance on Davison when he hit free agency, and he rewarded the team with a career year in 2019: 55 total tackles (very impressive for a NT!), 4.0 TFL, and 1.0 sacks. In return, Atlanta signed Davison to a lucrative 3-year extension this offseason which averages $4M/yr.
While Davison is never going to intimidate teams as a pass rusher, he’s a good enough specialist as a run-stopping presence on the interior that he’s worth his price tag. Even though passing has taken center-stage in the current NFL, the Falcons still have several dangerous RBs to deal with in the division: Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey, for starters. On a defense that tends towards lighter, faster players at other positions, an imposing force at NT is a necessity.
Projection: Impressive tackle numbers for a NT and another quality season as a run-stuffing specialist. Davison should once again be an above-average starter on the interior, and could even post better production if his supporting cast is improved.