AUBURN, Ala. — Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson came to Auburn together and shared an apartment, and each decided to return for his senior football season in 2019.
Now the defensive linemen hope they'll both be picked in the first round of the NFL draft on April 23 in Las Vegas. They were among the former Tigers who went through a pro day workout in front of scouts and coaches on Friday.
Brown has been projected by some as a potential early first-rounder, and some mock drafts have Davidson as possibly going late in the round. Each had a big senior season 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 only went through position drills at pro day after going through the recent NFL combine in Indianapolis, where they roomed together.
Brown is a 6-foot-4, 323-pound All-America tackle who was a finalist for several national awards as a senior and was voted the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year. 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 believes 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 won a celebrity fishing tournament in north Alabama two days before the pro day. He said 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," said Davidson, who spoke to reporters while holding his young son Kai. "I was like, 'I'm going to get you, so you might as well just come out.' That's what happened."
Brown and Davidson have remained close even with their time as Tigers complete.
"I told Marlon last 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."