Atlanta Falcons: Top 5 Rookies Heading Into Camp

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Nov 15, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (50)in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

DT. Clemson. Grady Jarrett. 5. player. 44.

The Atlanta Falcons went after a local prospect when Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn took DT Grady Jarrett with the first pick of the 5th Round in the 2015 NFL Draft.  Jarrett grew up in Conyers and played collegiately for the Clemson Tigers.  He’s also the son of Atlanta Falcons LB Legend Jessie Tuggle.  Jarrett also considers one of the best linebackers to ever play football for Baltimore Ravens MLB Ray Lewis an uncle.  You have to love getting an Atlanta native with that type of NFL pedigree.

While at Clemson, Jarrett was an instigator on the interior for a sound passing rushing team the last several years.  He’s considered to have a very quick first step for a defensive tackle and may factor in the Atlanta pass rush as a rookie rotational player.

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It was starting to get odd how Jarrett fell down the draft board.  Some draft experts gave Jarrett a third, even second round grades.  Perhaps he’s undersized for an interior defensive lineman.  But does that really matter anymore?  Undersized DT Aaron Donald just won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year playing for the St. Louis Rams.

I’m not saying to expect a breakout rookie season for Grady Jarrett in 2015, but I do imagine that he will get plenty of looks at multiple techniques, not just the 3 in Dan Quinn’s defensive line this fall.  He’s got a good football family (Tuggle and Lewis) and few college teammates (Vic Beasley and Malliciah Goodman) playing alongside him in Flowery Branch.

Grady Jarrett should benefit from coming into a new coaching regime in Atlanta as well.  Every interior lineman will have a new defensive scheme to learn and Grady fits right into what Quinn is trying to accomplish in the front seven.  Expect Jarrett to eventually thrive in Quinn’s shifted 4-3 Base Defense.

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