Grady Jarrett has long been one of the most underrated and under-appreciated players in the NFL, nationally. His level of play has been outstanding for the past number of years and that national recognition is finally starting to follow.
Jarrett was revealed as the 54th best player in the NFL on the NFL Network’s annual Top 100 countdown, this past weekend. It’s his second consecutive year on the list, after debuting at number 91 last year (see what I mean about underrated?), and if we’re getting to it a bit late we’re only too glad to recognize him.
Calling Jarrett Atlanta’s best defensive player over the past few years is a statement which may yield some uninspired arguments from the occasional Devil’s Advocate, but which would for the most part be met with nearly universal agreement and head nodding.
Jarrett has graded out as Atlanta’s best defensive player in each of the past three seasons — according to PFF — including in 2018 and 2019 when his overall defensive graded exceeded the elite mark of 90.0. He graded out with a top 10 pass rushing grade among all defensive lineman in each of the past three seasons, and had a top 6 overall defensive mark among all DLs in those 2018 and 2019 campaigns.
In 2020, Jarrett was one of just three defensive tackles in the league to register in the top 10 in both pass rush win rate (3rd with 19%) and run stop win rate (8th with 39%), along with New York’s Quinnen Williams and Tampa Bay’s William Gholston, according to ESPN.
In the presentation of his unveiling on the countdown, Jarrett’s peers — Za’Darius Smith of the Packers and Trent Brown of the Patriots — had some very high praise of the Clemson alum, saying that he’s at the top of the DT hierarchy along with the great Aaron Donald.
This is the highest a Falcons defensive player has ever ranked on the countdown.