After breaking down the Falcons on the EDGE, we move to the interior defensive line, which should be a position of strength for the Falcons in 2020 led by the best player on their defense and one of the best defensive tackles in the game. If you missed our breakdowns of the Falcons offense by position or the EDGE defenders, click the links below.
The Falcons entire defense revolves around Grady Jarrett, who has become not just a stone wall when defending the run but also a fantastic pass rusher from the interior, tallying 7.5 sacks last season. He was named Second-Team All-Pro and is well on his way to being known as one of the best defensive tackles in football. With more help on the outside and the addition of Marlon Davidson, this could be yet another career-year for Jarrett.
On running downs, Tyeler Davison will line up next to Jarrett, who played well enough on a one-year contract to earn himself a three-year deal this offseason. The 6’2″ 310-pound behemoth is a load to move and recorded a career-high 55 tackles last season.
On passing downs, multiple combinations will be used, but I’m looking at two guys who should receive the most reps. The first is Allen Bailey, who will play both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Falcons. The other is Marlon Davidson, the rookie out of Auburn, who everybody should be excited about. He played primarily defensive end at Auburn but has put on a lot of weight since then and will serve as a hybrid lineman of sorts. Dan Quinn should have a field day utilizing his size and athleticism.
While the Falcons will use several combinations across the defensive line, the guys that should be receiving secondary reps on the inside will be John Cominsky and Deadrin Senat. Cominsky is an athletic player that played defensive end in college and as a rookie, but the plan for him was always to move inside eventually. He should see an increased role in his second season.
Senat is now entering his third year, but he could be on the roster bubble if he doesn’t show some improvement this offseason. The 2017 third-round selection played in 15 games, including two starts as a rookie, but he only appeared in two games last season and did not record a single tackle. Hopefully, he becomes more involved in his third year, or he will go down as one of the bigger busts of the Thomas Dimitroff/Dan Quinn era.
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner also appeared in eight games for the Falcons last season, including one start, recording 14 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. To round out the group, the Falcons signed Hinwa Allieu as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska-Kearney and Sailosi Latu from San Jose State.