Marlon Davidson, Nick Coe give Auburn dynamic duo of defensive ends

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Marlon Davidson, Nick Coe give Auburn dynamic duo of defensive ends

As confident as Auburn's coaching staff is in its Bucks replacing Jeff Holland, the biggest contributors to pass rushing may be coming from the traditional defensive end spot.
Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe proved they can be disruptive last season and were two of the top performers of the entire spring.
Davidson is the clear starter and Coe is the backup, but they'll both see lots of action and be put in positions to rush and set the edge.
RELATED: Why Auburn thinks DL can be 'more dominant' than 2017
Post-Spring depth chart
Marlon Davidson: 6-foot-3, 278 pounds, junior
Nick Coe: 6-foot-5, 282 pounds, redshirt-sophomore
Gary Walker: 5-foot-11, 281 pounds, redshirt-junior
Marlon Davidson has been a consistent presence at defensive end over the last two years and could be in line for a very big junior season now that he'll be expected a more productive pass rusher.
He had 43 tackles with 6.5 for loss including 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery last season and is capable of topping all those figures.
Davidson is getting early attention for the 2019 NFL Draft and with a big year is a mortal lock to leave and begin his pro career.
He's working on physicality and pad level specifically this offseason.
"That's a big key for me this year," Davidson said. "Hand placement. You can't get enough of that, of your basic fundamentals, to take your game to the next level, and that's what I'm trying to do."
Why Auburn's Marlon Davidson is 'scared' of fellow defensive lineman Nick Coe
Nick Coe had 29 tackles with 4.5 for loss including two sacks in his first season of action.
That was already impressive, but he backed it up by having a great spring. He made two tackles for loss in limited action on A-Day and is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the fall.
"Nick is one of those guys who has a knack for rushing the passer," defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. "He has the ability to move and play both defensive end and the buck position, so that helps a great deal. But he's got a skill set, and he just keeps improving as we keep practicing."
After impressive spring, Auburn's Nick Coe believes he still has 'a lot to improve on'
Next wave
Gary Walker is a former walk-on who saw limited action last season.
Summer arrival
Caleb Johnson is going to be at defensive end as opposed to Buck. It's possible he works into the rotation immediately, though Auburn could probably get away with redshirting him.
Kayode Oladele is more likely going to be at traditional defensive end, but he'll be off the edge regardless.
Oladele is more of a developmental player as he's had limited time playing football and had to sit out his senior season. A redshirt would not be out of the question.
"We're more experienced now with me, Dontavius, Andrew, Derrick and Nick Coe and we all got years under our belt. Now we all know how it'll go down in a game. Everything is going to come easy to us because we've already been through that. It's just like another day." -- Marlon Davidson
Looking back at center after Spring 2017
From May 22, 2017:
Marlon Davidson had a great debut season as a true freshman and more will be expected of him as a second-year starter at defensive end.
With Carl Lawson gone, Auburn needs Davidson to help offset the loss in pass rush. He's one of the few returning players to have consistently displayed an edge presence last season and will be called upon to do so again.
With Byron Cowart moving inside, redshirt-freshman Nick Coe is in line for a substantial amount of reps.
James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

from Auburn Sports Impact

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