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Dt Jarrett Not Your Average Fifth-Rounder

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Clemson defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was a high-round value in the eyes of many experts and while he's not concerned with it, he has the chance to prove teams wrong for passing on him.

Grady Jarretticon-article-link.gif inked his first NFL contract last Friday, officially making him a part of the Atlanta Falcons franchise. The deal signifies Jarrett is ready to begin his career and hit the ground running on the defensive side of the ball.

It has been a whirlwind of emotions for the former Clemson defensive tackle. Jarrett’s family house in Conyers, Ga., caught fire the day before he was selected by the Falcons. With the recent ups and downs, Jarrett is relieved that the deal is done.

“It’s really comforting to have that done,” Jarrett said. “But at this moment I’m just focused on trying to become a better football player.”

A successful collegiate career alongside Vic Beasley Jr.icon-article-link.gif saw the 6-foot wrecking ball record 207 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and 37 quarterback pressures. The All-ACC selection had the resume to be selected higher in the draft, but his height detracted from his stock. Jarrett subsequently fell to the fifth round and was the 137th overall pick, making him arguably the steal of the draft according to most.

ProFootballFocus.com revealed its list of the biggest draft steals, and by no surprise, Jarrett topped that list. PFF’s statistical breakdown showed that Jarrett was in the Top 5 in both Run Stop Percentage and Pass Rushing Productivity when lined against Power 5 opponents; the only player to rank that highly in both categories.

Jarrett understands that even though many expect him to make a big impact, he still has work to do to prove that he can contribute quickly.

“I’m just happy to be here in Atlanta. The draft is just a thing of the past,” Jarrett said. “You can only control what you control. What I control is what I do out here and I’m just trying to be a better player and help this team win.”


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1. Grady Jarrett, DI, Clemson

#137 Overall to Atlanta

We’ve seen it over and over again. Height keeps pushing defensive tackles down draft boards despite building evidence against its significance. Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins, Jurrell Casey, and Mike Daniels all got the ‘undersized’ label, but all play among the highest level at their respective positions. Jarrett could very well be the next player added to that list. At 6-foot-1, 304 pounds with short arms, Jarrett’s is built like a cannon ball and plays like one too. No defensive tackle in all of the FBS was more dominant on a per-play basis than Jarrett last season. Finding a player like him in the fifth round is the definition of a ‘steal’.

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