The Falcons have had a number of great defensive tackles over the years, though many of their names have been forgotten as time has gone on. There was Rod Coleman, Travis Hall, and the phenomenal and durable Jonathan Babineaux, of course. Before his career is over, Grady Jarrett may surpass them all.
Jarrett is the son of Jessie Tuggle, a legendary Falcons linebacker in his own right, and he brings The Hammer’s physicality to bear during every game. What separates Jarrett from his father is his size, and what separates him from so many other defensive tackles on this list is his unreal quickness and instincts. It has led to one of the finest defensive tackle seasons in recent team history, and one that put him in very distinguished company.
Fun fact - according to @STATS_NFL Grady Jarrett is tied for the league lead in tackles for loss by a DT...with Aaron Donald— Matt Haley (@FalconsMHaley) January 1, 2018
Jarrett finished the year with 55 combined tackles, 15 tackles for loss (which is tied with Aaron Donald, as noted above), and four sacks. He also nearly intercepted a spiked ball, which is the kind of legendary moment that be brought up a decade from now when we talk about his career. The fact that the Falcons got him in the fifth round is robbery, but the good kind of robbery.
Jarrett has not hit his ceiling yet, I believe, which means he could be even more of a terror in the years ahead. That’s awfully scary for everyone who has to face him, because this is unquestionably one of the better seasons in team history at the position, in my humble opinion. I hope he’s a Falcon for life.