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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: IDL Jonathan Marshall

  • The Draft Network
  • April 4, 2021
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With 42 career games played, Jonathan Marshall has gained a wealth of experience during his time with the Razorbacks. Playing all interior gaps across the board, he’s been able to gain playing time at the 0, 1, and 3-technique spots. His versatility and explosiveness have been two of his better traits, but his discipline with gap integrity must improve. Placing his eyes and head down to the ground while being a true gap-penetrator is his forte, but operating with more control and balance will need to be developed over time.

Ideal Role: Developmental 3-technique.

Scheme Fit: 3-technique in a penetrating and attacking four-man defensive front.


Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Florida (2020), Georgia (2020), LSU (2020), Auburn (2020), Ole Miss (2020)

Best Game Studied: Auburn (2020), Florida (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Georgia (2020)

First-Step Explosiveness: Even though it comes and goes often, Marshall contains an explosive first step when afforded opportunities to pin his eyes to the turf and simply asked to create vertical push. He prides himself on being one of the first players off of the ball and has created tackles for loss opportunities as a result. 

Flexibility: Having a high pad level is frequent throughout his game. Needing to play with more bend and flexibility is evident, but could come over time as he gains more time at the position. A bit of a top-heavy and high-cut frame, a lot of his strength and weapons are located in his top half. 

Hand Counters: Marshall’s most comfortable move is a quick swim move—a technique that’s been effective for him. Outside of that, he doesn’t display much versatility in his repertoire. Creating opportunities for quick wins is how he’s managed to rack up TFLs during his final season. On the next level, he will need to add multiple moves to his arsenal, but also develop an understanding of how to have an answer to the initial blocking technique of interior offensive linemen.

Hand Power: When able to penetrate the first level, Marshall displays good ability to be a finisher. There aren’t many occurrences where he is able to take advantage of leaks in offensive protection without creating constant havoc of some sort. Forcing QBs off of their spots and condensing pockets in the direct sightline of throwers have been a consistent outcome.

Run Defending: As a flash player, Marshall is inconsistent against the run. He’ll have a play where he’s able to squeeze through the first level to alter the path of runners and then he’ll have back-to-back reps where he’s non-existent. Bundling up that consistency into somehow having an effect on plays constantly remains as the next stage of his development. 

Effort/Motor: Consistency has been Marshall’s biggest battle throughout his career. There are plenty of high effort plays throughout his career, but they are followed up by many mild-tempered ones. Having different motor levels leads to him having to recrank his motor and it may take a couple of plays or even the next series for it to officially come back and stay on.

Football IQ: When tuned in, Marshall plays the game with lots of energy and athleticism. Those levels of intensity can get the best of him, though, as he can frequently run himself completely out of plays. Keeping his eyes up is another habit to correct as he can become so fixated with getting up the field right now that he’s unaware of ball locations. 

Lateral Mobility: His athleticism comes into play frequently as he possesses plenty of range in order to make plays. A consistent chase player in ball pursuit, he’s been able to get back into the mix on many plays as a result. Redirecting after overpursuing on some runs has been seen as well.

Core/Functional Strength: A well-constructed physique throughout, he has a frame that suggests that there’s minimal body fat. With a lot of his weight being in his top half, though, it negatively affects him as a run defender. Winning more based on his explosion, when he meets strong blockers, he often runs into walls. Hitting the wall forces him to turn his shoulders and opt to use last-second panic moves, which has resulted in undisciplined gap integrity. 

Versatility: Marshall has played the 0, 1, and 3-technique spots in the Razorbacks multiple front defensive scheme. Using him all over, he’s been able to gain experience in multiple places, but he seemed to be the most comfortable at 3-technique. Able to occupy a single gap and use his explosiveness to advantage there, that’s the position where many of his flash plays have occurred.


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 69/100

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