AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson came to Auburn together, shared an apartment and each decided to return for their senior seasons.
Now, the Auburn defensive linemen are both hoping to land in the first round of the NFL draft. They were among the Tigers going through a pro day workout before NFL scouts and coaches on Friday.
Brown has been projected by some as a potential early first-rounder while some mock drafts have Davidson as possibly going late in the round as well.
Both had big senior seasons after considering early entry into the draft.
“They both improved," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “You're talking about some high-character guys who played at a high level in the SEC. They were dominant. They weren't just good players. They were dominant players.
“They both performed very well. They both have that wow factor."
Both linemen just did position drills at pro day after going through the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
Brown is a 6-foot-4, 323-pound All-America tackle who was a finalist for several national awards as a senior and earned Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year honors. He had his best statistical season with 55 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
So did his roommate. Davidson had career-bests with 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss and was a four-time SEC defensive lineman of the week.
While Brown was projected as a likely first-round pick as a junior, Davidson feels like he improved his stock considerably. He clearly doesn't lack confidence in his abilities.
“Coming back for my senior year, I was trying to show people that I’m real," the 6-4, 296-pound end said. “A lot of people thought I wasn’t that good or thought I was just a third- or fourth-round guy.
“But you turn the tape on this year and you see No. 3 and you’re going to majority see 3 all the game, because I’m coming regardless. I might not make the play at the time or I might not be anywhere around it, but I’m making an impact on the game somewhere. Just showing people that I’m dominant and that I’m Marlon Davidson, I’m the best."
Davidson had won a celebrity fishing tournament in north Alabama two days earlier. He used the same type of trash talk with the fish that he might against an opposing quarterback.
“I was talking to them while they were in the water," Davidson said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to get you so you might as well just come out.’ That’s what happened."
Brown spoke to reporters while holding his young son, Kai. He and Davidson were even roommates at the combine.
“I told Marlon (Thursday) night, it's been fun," Brown said. “I love this guy; he's like a brother to me. I wouldn't treat him different than anybody in my own family.”
Brown was asked about at least one pundit who didn't regard him as a first-round player. He said it should be more about how you handle double teams than how you perform in the three-cone drill.
“It tells you nothing about how you play football," Brown said. “I don't necessarily think it's even the teams or coaches that worry about it. I mean, you know, tape does all the talking for me that anybody needs.”
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