Few things are more frustrating than the high round draft choice who doesn’t work out for your favorite team. Atlanta’s history is littered with those players—to be fair, every franchise’s history is—and we unfortunately now have to add Marlon Davidson to the list.
The former second round pick has been on injured reserve all year, but the team announced that they have cut him just a short time ago. It’s the end of a brief era with some extremely memorable highs and a number of injuries that had to be infuriating for Davidson and the team alike.
Davidson was probably the draft pick many fans were most excited about in 2020. The Auburn product was a physically imposing player who played both inside at defensive tackle and outside at defensive end in his collegiate career, delivering results with strength and surprising speed for a man his size. He was drafted to help give Grady Jarrett assistance on the defensive line, but despite some amazing flashes of potential along the way, he played in just 19 games in his first two seasons and started just one game. Injury was a constant companion for Davidson, which sucks, and in the end it was those injuries that seemingly prevented him from showing his true potential in Atlanta.
This was set to be a pivotal season for a healthy Davidson, but he injured his knee and that landed him on injured reserve for the first seven weeks of the season. With the emergence of Ta’Quon Graham and the team finding some stability along their defensive line with players like Abdullah Anderson, Timothy Horne, and Matt Dickerson, they apparently were ready to move on from Davidson. The defensive line will be a major focus this offseason, obviously.
In addition to this move, the Falcons released outside linebacker Jordan Brailford from the practice squad, adding cornerback BoPete Keyes. The Chiefs 2020 seventh round pick spent some time with the Bears practice squad last year and had spent time with the Texans practice squad this year, and will provide depth for a ravaged cornerback corps.
Davidson, when healthy, is still young enough and interesting enough that he should find a home pretty easily, but it’s a shame it didn’t work out in Atlanta. At least we’ll always have his pick-six against Tom Brady, one of the most wonderful plays of the past several seasons. We’ll wish him well wherever he lands next.