Grady Jarrett playing at an All-Pro level for Falcons

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The Falcons are a rebuilding team; there’s no doubt about that. Atlanta currently has the most dead money in the league, which means they have the fewest cap dollars allocated to active roster players. Despite those circumstances, the Falcons have remained competitive in each of their games this season, never losing a game by more than one score, even though they were 10-point underdogs against the Buccaneers and Rams.

It’s not a very talented roster, but the coaching staff has the players believing in one another. The culture has clearly shifted in Atlanta, but some of the stalwarts on the team haven’t. Jake Matthews is still one of the better pass blocking tackles in the league, and Grady Jarrett has been dominant along the Falcons’ defensive front and is currently playing at an All-Pro level.

Through the first five games of the season, the Clemson product has totaled 3.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 7 quarterback hits, and 19 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 12 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 23 quarterback hits, and 64 total tackles over 17 games. And he should have 4.5 sacks, considering the infamous phantom roughing the passer call on Tom Brady in Week 5.

He’s having a career-best season thus far, tied for fifth in ESPN’s pass rush win rate among all defensive tackles. And now, seemingly every week, Brian Baldinger, who does breakdowns each week, highlights Jarrett’s excellent play.

The Falcons have to be feeling great about the contract extension they handed Jarrett this offseason because he’s still in his prime. His ascension back to being one of the best defensive tackles in the league after a down season in 2021 is no coincidence either. The emergence of Ta’Quon Graham, who ranks second among all defensive tackles in run-stop win rate, has greatly benefited Jarrett. The veteran finally has a running mate, who also received a shoutout from Baldy.

Once the Falcons get the edge position figured out, this defensive front might actually strike fear into opposing offenses. For now, Grady Jarrett is well on his way to another All-Pro/Pro Bowl-caliber season.

Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

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