Razorback defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall declares for 2021 NFL Draft
Razorback fans were holding out hope as seven seniors announced their return for the 2021 season in the last several days but defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall won't be with them. The Texas native declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday night following the cancellation of the Texas Bowl.
An AP All-SEC second team selection and a Pro Football Focus first team selection, Marshall could be the Razorbacks third defensive tackle taken in the draft in consecutive years, following Armon Watts and McTelvin Agim.
Always heralded as one of the strongest members of the team, Marshall only took over the starting role as a senior. He's increased his load each season since his arrival at Arkansas in 2017.
With 633 defensive snaps this year, he was the top-graded player on Arkansas’ defense. His 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and one sack don’t jump off the page, but he was the biggest disruptive force on the Hog defensive line this season.
Marshall’s 29 pressures (including 19 hurries and nine quarterback hits) lead all SEC interior defensive linemen, as do his 22. He posted an SEC-high 80.8 run defense grade and an overall 79.6 grade, which ranks second - behind only Alabama’s Christian Barmore - among the 21 SEC interior defensive linemen with at least 300 snaps this season.
Marshall isn't currently on ESPN's best available board for the draft but each defensive tackle who's declared for the draft with similar grades the past few seasons has been drafted regardless.
A 5.5 three-star defensive end coming out of Shepherd, Texas, in the Class of 2016, Marshall originally committed to TCU, but ended up flipping to another Big 12 school - Oklahoma State - about a year later.
His pledge to the Cowboys lasted about half as long as his one to the Horned Frogs, as he took a secret visit to Fayetteville on the final weekend before signing day and flipped his commitment once again.
Marshall was one of only four Razorback defenders who played in all 10 games this season.
The Razorbacks were already planning for the departure of Jonathan Marshall and Xavier Kelly as Sam Pittman has noted he wants multiple, maybe up to 3, transfer additions for the defensive line. Dorian Gerald, however, is one of the seven who will return.
Derrick LeBlanc added three to his room already on signing day, Cameron Ball, JUCO DT Jalen Williams and Solomon Wright. Williams will be here for the spring semester.
Check out the current scholarship distribution breakdown.