The Falcons single stalwart on defense for the majority of the past decade has been Grady Jarrett. Over his career in Atlanta, the Clemson product has totaled 359 tackles, 26.5 sacks, 54 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, and 89 quarterback hits. The two-time Pro Bowler also just agreed to terms on a three-year $49.5 million extension with the Falcons earlier this offseason, which locks Jarrett in for what could be the rest of his prime.
Despite a down 2021 campaign by his standards, Jarrett is still one of the best defenders in the league. ESPN ranked the NFL’s top 10 defensive tackles for the 2022 season, surveying over 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players, and Jarrett checked in at No. 9.
But Jarrett came in as the fifth-ranked interior defender on Ben Linsey’s rankings of PFF.
Prior to 2021, Jarrett rattled off four straight years with 80.0-plus PFF grades with the Falcons and established himself as one of the best all-around interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Jarrett fell off slightly from that level in 2021, but he still profiles as Atlanta’s only defensive lineman who offenses have to worry about. Jarrett’s 93 quarterback pressures since 2020 are over 50 more than any other player on the Falcons’ roster.
Jarrett joins Cameron Heyward, Chris Jones, and DeForest Buckner in the ‘elite’ tier, with Aaron Donald being the only one ranked ahead of them. Jarrett is one of the best players at his position, but his intangibles make him even more desirable. He is a lunch pail kind of player that will work just as hard at practice, workouts, and in the film room as he will on game day. Jarrett is an instrumental piece in the locker room for a first-time head coach, and thankfully, he will be part of this team throughout the remainder of the rebuild and beyond.
Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire
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