As if there is any doubt on who one of the starters will be at defensive tackle. Since Super Bowl LI, Grady Jarrett has graded out among the top five at his position and is one of the best up and coming defensive tackles in the league.
The problem for Grady Jarrett is he is playing at the same time as Aaron Donald. Donald is accomplishing things that defensive tackles never have and setting records that are unobtainable and that is being held against Grady simply because he wants to be paid like the top five defensive tackle that he is.
In 2018, Jarrett had 52 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 8 tackles for loss. All of this while missing two games and being the focal point for opposing offenses to scheme for.
This entire off-season the fan base assumed that the 2019 first round draft pick was going to be used in order to choose a running mate for Grady; when this did not happen, many were highly upset. However, given the depth and the free agent signings by the Falcons, drafting his running mate was not a necessity.
There are a few options as the other interior starter next to Grady. Tyeler Davison, Deadrin Senat, Ra’Shede Hageman and John Cominsky are all viable options. However, Jack Crawford will be the starter next to Grady when they take on Minnesota in Week 1.
Crawford’s versatility offers a great flexibility for the Falcons. There was no denying in 2018 how important Crawford was. His production almost mirrored that of Grady Jarrett – 35 tackles, seven tackles for loss and six sacks. Year two of this combo should be even better than they were in 2018.