Coach Dan Quinn emphasized Thursday that Davison will play a key role in helping Atlanta better defend the run in 2019, William McFadden of the Falcons' official sitereports. "We were really impressed, through free agency, about his ability to play the run," Quinn said. "We thought if we could add him into that mix of guys it would be really impactful for us."
Davison is set to fit into a key rotational role for the Falcons' defensive line in 2019, with an outside shot at earning starter reps if he is capable of outshining Jack Crawford and Deadrin Senat throughout training camp and the preseason. Crawford and Senat each posted higher performance grades than Davison last season -- they were the 52nd- and 55th-ranked defensive tackles according to Pro Football Focus, compared to Davison's No. 83 ranking. Despite not necessarily serving as a talent upgrade, Davison adds valuable veteran presence for a defense that finished 25th against the run in 2018.
Davison spent the last four seasons with the Saints, and he averaged 27.4 defensive snaps per game during that span. The Fresno State product will likely play in a reserve role with the Falcons and provide solid depth.
Davison will visit with the Falcons this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
A 2015 fifth-round pick, Davison started 48 of 61 games in New Orleans the past four years, recording 95 tackles and 3.5 sacks while playing at least 421 defensive snaps each season. He doesn't offer much as a pass rusher, but his solid work against the run makes him one of the more valuable players available at this stage of free agency.
Davison (foot) did not participate in Wednesday's practice.
Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Davison was wearing a protective boot on Monday after having an MRI following Sunday's game, but the defensive end said he's only dealing with a "short-term injury." While the Saints can breathe a sigh of relief that their starting defensive end isn't nursing a severe injury, Davison is nonetheless uncertain to be ready in time for Sunday's game against the Browns.
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||18||10.0||8||1.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||15||23||9.0||14||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||31||22.0||9||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||14||23||8.0||15||2||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||1||10||10.0||10||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||15||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||14||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||14||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|