Atlanta Falcons Kickoff In 97 Days: Profiling No. 97 Grady Jarrett


We are now 97 days away from the Atlanta Falcons’ 2015 season opener against the New York Giants. We continue our countdown looking at No. 97, Grady Jarrett.

Our countdown to the 2015 Falcons season stops off with a new face. Wearing the No. 97 jersey this year will be fifth round pick Grady Jarrett.

Jarrett, the defensive tackle out of Clemson, is considered by many as one of the ‘steals’ of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Lance Zierlein of had high praise for Jarrett before the draft, and named him one of the safest draft prospects. He believed Jarrett would be selected in the second round.

"“Jarrett is a little undersized and will likely go in the second round, but he could end up having as big an impact as one of the bigger-bodied nose tackles in this draft. Jarrett can’t impose his will through sheer power, but his combination of leverage, quickness off the snap and closing speed make him a dream come true for defensive coordinators looking for a penetrator up front. Mark my words, Jarrett will be giving NFL centers the blues for years to come.”"

Atlanta spent its first two draft picks on defensive players, going with edge rusher Vic Beasley and cornerback Jalen Collins. The fact they were then able to turn to offense in rounds three and four and still pickup Jarrett in the fifth is remarkable.

Long term, Jarrett can become an anchor at the heart of the Falcons defense line. Short term, he will likely be used on the rotation as he makes the transition to the NFL and gets familiar with Dan Quinn’s identity.

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

How will Jarrett fit into the Falcons’ defense moving forward? Blogging Dirty’s very own Kevin Knight gave an in-depth look, which you can find here.

"“It appears Jarrett would be an ideal fit at both the NT or 3-tech DT positions in the Falcons 4-3 under defense. He’s a much better pass rusher than Soliai and could sub in for him on third down and obvious passing situations. Jarrett could also play either base package or nickel package 3-tech DT, particularly if Hageman spends significant time at DE.”"

Quinn will be able to get the best out of Jarrett, who will have time to develop in his system over the next couple of years.

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The exciting news for Atlanta is the fact he was drafted on day three. Naturally, expectations are considerably lower than those of day one and two picks. What they might have, though, is a player who will one day be looked on as a steal and someone who should have been selected much sooner.

The 2015 rookie class has a lot of Falcons fans excited for the future, and rightfully so. A lot of the attention goes to Vic Beasley, who will be expected to help revamp the pass rush, as well as Jalen Collins, who will be helping out in the defensive backfield.

A lot of attention will also be on Tevin Coleman, who is competing for a starting spot at running back, and wide receiver Justin Hardy who will be looking to force his way into the starting lineup.

We are 97 days away from football, 97 days away from the new era in Atlanta, and 97 days away from the new No. 97 making his mark.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: Date and time for open minicamp practices