After five seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks, defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall is heading to the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite being a wrecking ball as a senior, many view the Razorbacks DT as a potential undrafted free agent. However, following an exceptional pro day workout, there’s an excellent opportunity for him to hear his name called in Cleveland.
Jonathan Marshall NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Defensive Tackle
- School: Arkansas
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 317 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Jonathan Marshall Scouting Report
Positives: Athletic one-gap defensive tackle with scheme versatility. Fires off the snap with a great first step, plays with great pad level, and consistently gets leverage on opponents. Explosive up the field, quickly gets his hands into blockers, and keeps his feet moving. Displays good change-of-direction skills with the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack. Plays with balance, moves well about the field, and flashes pass-rush skill.[sv slug=”drizly”]
Negatives: Lacks great bulk, played out of position at nose tackle for Arkansas last season and was consistently hung up by blocks. Easily knocked off balance or from his angle of attack by the initial hit. Moderately productive throughout his college career.
Analysis: Marshall is an athletic defensive lineman with a large upside, but he must improve his strength and increase his production to have any chance of sticking at the next level.
Jonathan Marshall Player Profile
Before entering the 2021 NFL Draft as a defensive tackle prospect, Jonathan Marshall was a productive high school edge rusher. Hailing from Shepherd, Texas, he emerged as a sophomore playing for Shepherd High School. He racked up 22 tackles for loss and 5 sacks before being voted the District Newcomer of the Year.
His success on the football field was a testament to his all-around athletic ability. He excelled at basketball, contributing 1,100 points to the school team during his time there. He also represented Shepherd in shot put at a regional level.
Although he enjoyed success in other sports, the football field is where Marshall shined. Following his breakout sophomore season, he maintained his success as a junior. He totaled 71 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks in 2014 and followed that up with a District 8-4A Defensive MVP performance as a senior.
Receiving attention as a top-100 player in Texas, Marshall had a wild recruiting ride. He garnered his first offer from Oklahoma State before committing to TCU after excelling at their junior camp. Unbeknownst to Marshall, things were about to become more complicated. He de-committed from TCU and pledged his future to Oklahoma State.
Late in the process, following a secret visit to Arkansas, he flipped his commitment from the Cowboys and signed his national letter of intent to play for the Razorbacks.
Jonathan Marshall’s college career at Arkansas
He arrived in Arkansas as a 270-pound defensive end in a packed defensive line group. As a result, he redshirted as a freshman. With two defensive ends headed to the 2017 NFL Draft, Jonathan Marshall saw increased playing time. Considered a depth piece at that stage in his development, he saw 160 snaps in 12 games with a heavy emphasis on special teams. Nonetheless, he registered 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 2 quarterback hurries.
While he saw ample special-teams action in 2018, his role as a defensive tackle for Arkansas began to grow. He more than doubled his snaps and saw his production grow proportionately. It paved the way for a junior season where he spent substantially more time on the defensive line than on special teams.
He rewarded the team with 17 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks. Furthermore, he found additional ways to be disruptive, logging 3 pass breakups.
Jonathan Marshall truly began to appear on the NFL Draft radar in his senior season. In the game against Auburn, he recorded his first career sack while generating a career-high single-game tackle total. That one game started a run of six consecutive games where he amassed at least 1 tackle for loss.
He ended the season with 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 9 quarterback hits. His play earned him second-team All-SEC recognition.
Despite all seniors having the option to return for another season, Arkansas defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall opted to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft following the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Jonathan Marshall’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
While some mock drafts featured Jonathan Marshall as a Day 3 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the scouting community’s consensus has him as an undrafted free agent. However, after flexing his strength at the Arkansas Pro Day, teams are going back to his tape to reconsider. As a result, there is a realistic possibility that the Arkansas defensive tackle hears his name called in Cleveland.
How will he fit in the NFL? Well, Arkansas had him play nose tackle last season, and he was highly productive. Yet, there is also the potential that he could line up as a defensive tackle in a four-person front. That scheme versatility makes him a more valuable commodity than a player than is scheme dependent.
Some teams in the market for defensive tackle depth include the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Cincinnati Bengals.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.