Grady Jarrett finally has running mate along Falcons defensive line

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The Falcons haven’t had many stars along the defensive line since the turn of the century. John Abraham and Jonathan Babineaux were stalwarts for many years in Atlanta, and that torch was passed to Grady Jarrett, who has seemingly turned it up a notch in 2022.

Through the first four games of the season, the Clemson product has totaled 3.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 5 quarterback hits, and 16 total tackles. Compare that to 2021, which was inarguably the worst season of Jarrett’s career — 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hits, and 59 total tackles. Jarrett is on pace to record 14 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback hits, and 68 total tackles over 17 games. He’s having a career-best season thus far, continuing his dominant play from Week 3. And the national media is giving him his due:

Jarrett, for much of his career, has been a one-man wrecking crew along Atlanta’s defensive front. But he’s taken it up a level this year, and there might be a reason for that — Ta’Quon Graham‘s breakout campaign.

The second-year pro out of Texas has been a menace defending the run and rushing the passer. The Falcons haven’t had a reliable interior pass rusher since Babineaux, and though Graham isn’t quite there, he’s progressing quickly, and it’s clearly having a positive effect on Jarrett’s production.

Graham, a 2021 fifth-round pick, doesn’t have the sexiest stat line — a team-leading 6 quarterback hits but no sacks — but is consistently terrorizing opposing offenses. His performance against the Browns, who possess one of the best offensive lines in football, was the best of his young career, and Baldy once again took to Twitter to praise another Falcons defender:

Grady Jarrett is obviously going to be the focal point for opposing offenses. Stopping him will be paramount for any team to succeed against the Falcons’ defense, but Ta’Quon Graham is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, accentuating Jarrett’s ability to affect games. Atlanta should welcome Marlon Davidson back in the near future, so keeping those two fresh should only help the defense.

Photographer: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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