Continuing the countdown of the top 40 players on the Atlanta Falcons, let’s break down the 30th best player in defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.
To read about the methodology in how these rankings came about, you can click here.
Total Score: 44/100
Last year’s rank: N/A
Player Grade: 48/100
Teams he is starter: 2 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 0 out of 32
Teams he is role player: 22 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +5
Positional Bonus: +3
The son of former Falcons linebacker great Jessie Tuggle, Jarrett hopes to carve out his own lasting legacy in Atlanta. The rookie has the potential to follow any number of paths in Atlanta in order to do so.
Jarrett shined as a disruptive, penetrating defensive tackle during his collegiate days at Clemson. He was at his best pinning his ears back and getting upfield to blow up running plays in the backfield or pressure quarterbacks. It didn’t result in a ton of sacks, but Jarrett was one of college football’s most disruptive players a year ago.
Jarrett will likely be asked to do the same in Atlanta in head coach Dan Quinn’s scheme. However, questions remain whether the Falcons will ask Jarrett to play more of a three-technique or one-technique in Quinn’s scheme. While Jarrett’s game is stylistically a much better fit as a three-technique that lines up against the guard’s outside shoulder and attacks upfield, Jarrett does also possess the tools to suggest that down the road, he could play the one-technique that lines up against a center and is asked to play the run first and foremost.
But it’s likely that if the Falcons want Jarrett to impact as early as possible in his NFL career, they’ll ask him to continue his penetrating ways and perhaps down the road might see if they can develop him into a more effective run-plugger.
Jarrett is expected to be a significant part of the Falcons’ rotation along the interior of their defensive line and should have an excellent mentor in the likes of veteran Jonathan Babineaux, who similarly entered the league as an undersized penetrator like Jarrett. Babineaux has since developed into one of the league’s most underrated disruptors. Jarrett’s own career has begun to mimic his due to the fact that despite his production and performance at Clemson, Jarrett’s draft stock slipped all the way to the fifth round when many saw him as a potential second or third-round selection.
The Falcons hope that Jarrett can carry a chip on his shoulder from that draft-day experience and potentially succeed Babineaux as one of the league’s better penetrators. Jarrett certainly has the potential and only time will tell if he ultimately lives up to it.