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Position Review: Defensive Line

Stats of Note: Vic Beasley Jr. led the team with four sacks, while adding 27 tackles (20 solo), one interception, two forced fumbles, and two passes defensed. According to NFL True Media, Beasley's four sacks were a record for a Falcons rookie.

Jonathan Babineaux played 557 snaps, logging 31 tackles (23 solo) with 1.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and two passes defensed. He also logged eight quarterback hits and 18 quarterback hurries.

Rookie Grady Jarrett was the NFL's top-rated rookie defensive tackle/nose tackle, according to Pro Football Focus. Jarrett took 268 snaps and recorded 24 tackles, one sack and seven quarterback hurries.

Kroy Biermann excelled in Dan Quinn's run-stopping defense. Biermann finished the season with two sacks, six quarterback hits and nine quarterback hurries.

How the Falcons Rank:In just one year under Quinn, the Falcons' defense made huge strides, especially against the run. Atlanta's rush defense was 14th in the NFL this season.

Standout Player:Jarrett. Not only was he the Falcons' highest ranked defensive tackle/nose tackle, he earned the best grade of all rookies at this position. No other rookie DT/NT had a higher rating than nine. Grady finished the season fifth in sacks and total tackles among rookie DT/NT, and played 255 less snaps than the player ahead of him in total tackles.

Potential Draft Target: Sheldon Wilkins out of Louisville, who has impressed at the Senior Bowl. He compiled 14 sacks and 111 tackles over the past two seasons. He's praised for his ability to stop the run and he has the versatility to play inside along the defensive front and on the edge. Quinn's defense is built upon being able to stop the run first, which is a strength of Rankins.

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