CFF Player Profile: Grady Jarrett, DI
As the draft rolls around there is always the discussion when a player shows good production and talent but lacks the ideal measurable most look for at a certain position. Grady Jarrett is one of the faces of that argument this year.
Jarrett without question has some of the best tape for the interior defensive lineman this year. He is a threat on all three downs and his only limitation is his lack of height that doesn’t seem to be an issue the majority of the time.
Overview & Stats
Grady Jarrett is a one-gapping 1-tech defensive tackle that will be best suited to a 4-3 defense where he will be able to cause havoc as a pass rusher and in the run game. Because of Jarrett’s style of play — always trying to penetrate — he was able to rack up stats in both the passing game and against the run game. When we look at just Power 5 opponents for all interior defenders, Jarrett was in the Top 5 in both Run Stop Percentage and Pass Rushing Productivity, the only other player who is inside the Top 10 of both was Stanford’s Henry Anderson.
When we look at Grady Jarrett’s stats compared to or other top of the crop interior D-lineman, we see a player who compares favorably with all of the top players in the class. Each of the four players play vastly different roles so we must take that into consideration before taking these stats out of context. But it does show that Jarrett has the ability to be three-down player and not just limited to playing the run.
Because Jarrett lacks the ideal measurables for a 1-tech DT he often gets overlooked as one of the best in the class. But when you watch Jarrett play you see his physical size (6-foot-1 304 pounds) is not a major issue, in fact, it allows him to be the low man and win with leverage. His physical limitations does mean he will struggle to two-gap and keep control and then shed, but because of that he has learned to play as the low man who penetrates into the backfield. While Jarrett isn’t the ideal fit for every team, one looking for his type could be getting a steal.
Jarrett is at his best is when he can play an attacking style, and while that might often mean he’s out of position, he’s able to keep his gap responsibility while causing havoc on the other side of the line of scrimmage and he’s not a liability when he is double-teamed.
Against Georgia (Q3 12:12) he absorbed the hit of the guard and prevented the center from taking over the block, allowing Jarrett to make the play on the ball-carrier. This play in particular was an impressive display and he’s shown the ability to beat blocks in multiple ways — with power, with his hands, and with explosion off the ball.
Even through Jarrett might not have the ideal height and size, the rest of his numbers show how he plays. Jarrett is very good first-step quickness that makes him a tough block on reaches, since he is a step further up field than the majority of the defensive tackles. When Jarrett is rushing the passer, his quickness 45% of his pressures came when Jarrett attacks the outside shoulder of the guard, where he can use his greatest assets (speed and hands) to his advantage and leave the guard in a difficult position to defend.
Where draft observers have trouble with Jarrett is with him being shorter than the average defensive tackle in the NFL. This is how some prospects are overlooked; Jarrett is the same height as Geno Atkins who plays the 3-technique rather than a 1, but regardless plays in a similar way to Jarrett: attacking from the snap and being able to use his lack of height as an advantage. Since his height is the only part of his game that is an issue, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be one of the top interior defensive lineman taken this year.
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