It’s that time of the year where we find out — as good as NFL players are, they are terrible at evaluating their peers. Yep, the NFL Network began their annual list of the league’s top 100 players yesterday with 100-91, and coming in at #91 is the Falcons own Grady Jarrett.
Frankly, this list has proven to be all over the place every year. Last year, Baker Mayfield, who has done nothing in his NFL career, finished ahead of Matt Ryan, so take it with a grain of salt. However, this ranking shows just how underrated Jarrett is, even amongst his peers.
The fifth-round pick out of Clemson in 2015 made a name for himself league-wide in 2016 when he sacked Tom Brady three times in the Super Bowl. Jarrett followed that up with 4 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 2017, six more sacks in 2018, before setting career-highs in both tackles (69) and sacks (7.5) on his way to 2nd Team All-Pro honors at the defensive tackle position last year. He is a force in every aspect of the game and the heart of the Falcons defense.
What’s even more impressive is he does it with such little talent around him. The Falcons don’t have many other players pushing the pocket, so most of the time, it’s just Jarrett, overpowering opponents with his strength and quickness. Still only 27-years-old, it won’t be long before people rightfully mention him in the same sentence alongside names like Fletcher Cox and Cameron Heyward.
We will see how the rest of this plays out. Jarrett did finish in front of several players who deserve a ton of respect, like Frank Clark, Darius Slay, and Jason Kelce. However, perhaps the most disrespectful aspect of the first group released was Lavonte David coming in at #100. He’s a top-five linebacker in football, which just goes to show how much of a popularity contest this can be, even with players voting to make it up.