Grady Jarrett an absolute steal for Atlanta Falcons


It looks like the Atlanta Falcons are well on their way to being one of the biggest winners in the entire draft class, as they’ve added Grady Jarrett to a class that includes Vic Beasley, Jalen Collins, Tevin Coleman, and Justin Hardy. They are absolutely stocked with a playmaking running back to fill a big need, a possession-type slot receiver, an athletic CB with massive upside, the best pure pass rusher in the class, and now an excellent disruptive presence on the defensive line.

Last year, the Falcons tried to nab too many defensive linemen, with their marquee addition being the selection of Ra’Shede Hageman. Even with Hageman, Tyson Jackson, and Paul Soliai already on the Falcons line, Jarrett still has a clear place with the team and is arguably the biggest steal in the entire 2015 NFL Draft as the first pick in the fifth round.

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Here’s how big of a steal Jarrett is. He was good enough to go in the first round and definitely should have been selected on the second day, as literally the only major knock on him is a lack of size. He needs to have big bodies around him to allow him to be as effective as possible as an interior disruptor, and he’s in the perfect situation in Atlanta with Soliai and Jackson around him.

The Falcons defense looks a whole lot stronger with a legitimate edge rusher in Beasley, a 3-4 defensive end who can get after the passer in Jarrett, and a cornerback in Collins who could become a standout player if he’s able to fulfill his massive potential.

While Collins is boom-or-bust and the same can be said for Coleman on any given carry, I don’t see too much bust potential in Jarrett. I have no idea how he fell into the fifth round, but I’m glad the Falcons stopped his fall by trading up for him. Thomas Dimitroff has always shown that he’s willing to make trades up for players he believes in, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Falcons made the right move here. Three years from now, we could be talking about this as the best draft-day trade of the 2015 NFL Draft, along with the Seattle Seahawks decision to aggressively move up to take WR Tyler Lockett.

And to think that all the Falcons needed to do was trade an extra sixth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings, who are also having an excellent draft in their own right, in order to draft Grady Jarrett. He can be a monster against the pass and run, and he’s exactly the disruptive playmaker that the Falcons need in their 3-4 scheme.

This draft class has knocked undersized interior defensive linemen too much, and it’s to the point where people haven’t learned from the Aaron Donald mistake in last year’s draft. While Jarrett is no Donald (though he does compare favorably to the current St. Louis Rams star), he’s an excellent prospect in his own right and has all the tools and the motor and strength to make up for his lack of size and become a high-impact player in just his first season in the league.

In Beasley, Coleman, Hardy, Collins, and Jarrett, it looks like the Atlanta Falcons have assembled their dream draft under Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan.

Next: Coleman intriguing fit for Falcons

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