The Falcons made a concerted effort to build on the defensive line in 2020, especially in the pass rush department. Grady Jarrett being their only true 3 down DT, there was a need to add a pass rushing specialist to help him, as the other defensive tackles on the roster were either one dimensional or still in the developmental stages of their careers. There were some flashes of improvement within the group, and the good news is that this is a young group with quite a bit of potential to be solid.
Here’s a review of each player in the position group and their contribution in 2020.
DT Grady Jarrett
2020 Stats: 27 tackles, 4 sacks
Jarrett is easily the Falcons’ best player on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a true difference maker and wrecks plays consistently up front. A great leverage player that’s quick off the snap, Jarrett has improved every year and is worth every penny of the extension he signed.
He currently has 3 years left of his 4 year deal and is the leader of the defensive line, and probably the only player new defensive coordinator Dean Pees is going to definitely feel he can build around.
DT Tyeler Davison
2020 Stats: 15 tackles, 0.5 sacks
Davison is a run stuffing 1-tech DT that has actually done a solid job since he’s been with the Falcons, though he is a one-dimensional player. He certainly beefs up the line and is stout in run support, but he doesn’t offer very much outside of that.
He does have 2 years remaining on his 3 year deal, but given the current cap situation, GM Terry Fontenot could opt to release him to save over $2 mil in cap space. However, considering they have a history, I’d guess he stays on the roster.
DT Marlon Davidson
2020 Stats: 2 tackles
A 2nd round draft pick of the 2019 draft, Davidson was brought in to be a complement to Jarrett on the interior in Nickel packages. He had an incomplete season as it was marred with injury and a stint on the COVID-19 list.
He saw some snaps in a few games last season, so he really didn’t have an opportunity to have an impact. He definitely has the potential to be a good piece of the defensive line as he shows a level of versatility that any coaching staff would covet.
DT John Cominsky
2020 Stats: 14 tackles, 1 sack
Cominsky has a frame and developing skillset that is pretty versatile in multiple fronts. He could be a 5 tech in a odd front and a 3 tech in an even front. His length, strength and athleticism is very intriguing, and he showed improvement in all aspects of his game. I can’t say he will emerge as a star, but he can be a productive rotational player and had moments where he was exactly that in 2020.
DT Deadrin Senat
2020 Stats: 2 tackles
I have to be honest here. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Dan Quinn and company drafted Senat in the 3rd round, only to sit or make him inactive for the majority of the time he’s been on the team. He seems to work hard on the field, so did he fall out of favor with the staff? I think there’s enough there for the new coaching staff under new Head Coach Arthur Smith to properly develop him and give him some snaps. I’m certain we will find out who was the main reason for the lack of playing time.
As it stands right now, there is plenty to work with when it comes to the talent and potential of the DT group. Still a young group with a star already in Grady Jarrett, there’s plenty for the team to be positive about. One of the biggest issues with the previous regime is that they were supposed to excel in developing athletes. Well, they failed pretty miserably. With the right coaching staff, this group has the potential to be an excellent one.