Prior to April's NFL Draft, it was widely believed Grady Jarrett would be selected before the third round concluded. So when the Clemson defensive tackle fell into Atlanta's lap in the fifth round (137th overall), many analysts agreed the Falcons got tremendous value. Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar is among those analysts, and on Monday he listed Jarrett, 22, as one of 12 NFL rookies who could surprise at training camp.
"Jarrett's free-fall to the fifth round was certainly a surprise to us, as we had him ranked 61st overall in this draft class," said Farrar. "He was certainly underrated due to his size (6'1", 304 pounds), which probably took him out of the running for most 3–4 and hybrid teams."
Jarrett, who racked up 45 tackles as a senior, is viewed as a strong scheme fit. And while some may be concerned about his 6-foot-1 frame, Atlanta's staff — including D-line coach Bryan Cox — doesn't believe that will be an issue.
"(N)ew Falcons coach Dan Quinn has a knack for taking unusually-sized linemen and making the most out of them, and Jarrett certainly has a lot to work with," said Farrar. "He plays much bigger than his size when he keeps his pads low, and over time, he could have a Geno Atkins-level impact."