Grady Jarrett was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and has proven that he was worth much more than a fifth-round pick. And with that, his career in the NFL has basically been a one-man show.
Grady has had no resemblance of help beside him which has resulted in him being targeted by opposing teams. It took eight years for him to finally have some talent next to him and, as a result, he is primed to have the best year of his career at the age of 30.
Grady Jarrett will have the best year of his Falcons career in 2023
Name me a player who has had as little help as Grady Jarrett has throughout his NFL career... You probably can't and yet Grady has still been a consistently good player for the Atlanta Falcons.
I mean seriously think about it, he has been on some of the worst defensive lines in NFL history, and if those defenses did not have him, they would have been the worst. Here are some of the better interior defensive linemen that he has played with throughout his career:
- Jonathan Babineaux (1 yr)
- Tyson Jackson (2 yrs)
- Paul Soliai (1 yr)
- Ra'Shede Hageman (2 yrs)
- Dontari Poe (1 yr)
- Jack Crawford (3 yrs)
- Tyeler Davison (3 yrs)
- Marlon Davidson (2 yrs)
Now compare that to the players that he will be playing next to this season:
- Calais Campbell
- David Onyemata
- Ta'Quon Graham
- Eddie Goldman
That is a stark contrast in talent. Jonathan Babineaux had a good career but it was his final season when Grady arrived, Tyson Jackson, Paul Soliai, and Dontari Poe were all disappointing free agent signings. And then the rest of the guys were either draft busts or good depth signings but nothing more.
I have some stats that will blow you away. Here are the career total (as in their entire career, not just their stats with the Falcons) of sacks and tackles for loss of the teammates that are listed above, compared to Calais Campbell's stats.
- Past teammates combined: 90 sacks, 224 TFLs
- Calais Campbell: 99 sacks, 165 TFLs
That is insanity and it shows you just how little help Grady has had through the years. Now, this is not to say that Calais Campbell is the same player he used to be but he is still one of the best teammates Grady Jarrett has had, without a doubt.
Throw in David Onyemata, Eddie Goldman, and an ascending Ta'Quon Graham and it isn't difficult to predict that Grady Jarrett will have the best year of his career. The benchmark for him? His 2017 season when he had 7.5 sacks, 69 tackles, and 12 tackles for loss. Don't be shocked if he bests those numbers now that defenses can't solely focus on him every snap.