Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman tops team grades after bye week

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Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) reacts after a sack against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens defeated the Falcons 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive line

Ra’Shede Hageman

It has been a up-and-down season for the former second-rounder as he tries to establish his base in the team’s future plans. Halfway into the season, fans are broken on the inconsistent production of Hageman. For the season, he has recorded 14 tackles and only one sack. I don’t look for Hageman to be a big helping hand in the pass rush, but he has to build a consistent base defending the run game.

Grade: C+

Paul Soliai

I don’t know if the scheme changes, of course it was, made an impact on nose tackle Paul Soliai’s play but he has had a complete turnaround season from last season. He has been able to eat up blockers and help in the run game. Playing nose tackle doesn’t gain many eye-popping stats, 13 tackles on the year, so his impact is felt more on the field than in the stat book.

Grade: B-

Jonathan Babineaux

Babs has been the cornerstone of the team’s defense for the past 10 years and he is still making an impact when needed. For the year he has 18 total tackles with an exciting interception versus San Francisco but the 10-year veteran still brings a explosive element in the pass-rush.

Grade: B+

Tyson Jackson

Jackson is doing a better job at stopping the run than previously, but I still think he is a overpaid veteran who can be replaced. On the year so far, he has 17 tackles with zero sacks.

Grade: C+

Adrian Clayborn

The most underrated signing for the team this offseason, Clayborn has been one of the major go-to-guys in pass rush situations. He has recorded only eight tackles and two sacks, but his impact is felt beyond just numbers. Though he is only used nickel packages at the end position, there is a high chance we will see a lot more of him in the team’s base defense to help fix the team’s pash rushing woes.

Grade: B

Vic Beasley

The NFL has been blessed lately with the performance of many rookie players on both sides of the ball but that is not a normal state. When the Falcons drafted Vic Beasley to fix their pass rushing problems, expectations for him where extremely high. Beasley has done a great job so far. He’s recorded 19 tackles, a force fumble and two sacks but he is gradually getting better in every game.

Grade: B

Grady Jarrett

Coming out of Clemson, Jarrett was a guy you couldn’t help but look at when the Vic Beasley hype began to pick up speed. At 6’0, 295 pounds, he was a bowling ball occupying double teams and hitting gaps faster than many defensive lineman in the 2015 draft. He has 10 tackles on the year but for anyone who watches the games knows that he demands more playing time.

Grade: B+

Next: Linebackers