NFL analyst overlooks Atlanta's most impactful defender in rankings

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The NFL's top defensive trios were ranked by SI writer Gilberto Manzano, with the Atlanta Falcons being shown surprising respect. Atlanta's trio was ranked 19th with Kaden Elliss, David Onyemata, and Jessie Bates being the three listed members. At first glance, two names stand out as exclusions. Jessie Bates is locked into the trio without any valid argument able to be presented to boot him out.

However, A.J. Terrell at his best has a clear argument over Onyemata or Elliss. Both players were impressive, neither had the ceiling of being a top-three player at their position. At his best, that is who A.J. Terrell has been in his career.

With this in mind, it still isn't A.J. who is most deserving of a spot in the trio. Grady Jarrett continues to be underrated with his impact often not showing up with a simple glance at the stat sheet. The most telling impact for Jarrett is simply looking at what the defense became when he left with an injury last season.

It is hard to see the impact of Jarrett if you aren't familiar with Atlanta's defense. Looking at the numbers there isn't anything terribly impressive about the veteran defensive lineman. This is where turning on the tape makes all of the difference. Watching Jarrett work and seeing how many times he makes THE play that sets up someone else his talent and impact can't be ignored.

Not only this, Jarrett has been a great teammate and a leader through seasons of turmoil. The veteran exemplifies everything you want Falcons football to represent. No trio ranking of Atlanta Falcons defenders is complete if it doesn't include Grady Jarrett.

Yes, David Onyemata brought edge, but between the two players when healthy there isn't a question of who is more consistently impactful. While the respect given to Atlanta is appreciated, the ranking is wrong excluding the heart of Atlanta's defense in Grady Jarrett.