Falcons’ offseason spotlight: Grady Jarrett

090315 ATLANTA: Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett stomps his feet after making a big third down stop against the Ravens forcing a field goal attempt in the redzone during the first quarter of their preseason game on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

090315 ATLANTA: Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett stomps his feet after making a big third down stop against the Ravens forcing a field goal attempt in the redzone during the first quarter of their preseason game on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Before diving into the final draft stretch run, Falcons coach Dan Quinn shared some thoughts with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about six players he’s counting on to elevate their games in 2016.

He wants them to slide from being role players to becoming major contributors. The group includes defensive end/linebacker Vic Beasley, cornerback Jalen Collins, running back Tevin Coleman, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, wide receiver Justin Hardy and free safety Robenson Therezie.

Today, we’ll look at Jarrett, who was drafted it the fifth-round (137th overall) of the 2015 draft out of Clemson. Since we discussed Collins, he’s flunked a performance enhancement test and will be suspended for the first four games of the season. He had the inside path to the starting right cornerback spot.

Jarrett was productive in a reserve rotational role last season. According to

Pro Football Focus, Jarrett was their number one ranked rookie defense tackle/nose tackle with an 11.3

grade. No other rookie defensive tackle had a higher rating than nine.

Jarrett, who finished with 24 tackles, one sack and four tackles for losses, played 267 of the defensive snaps (25.4 percent).

“I was glad that he got those snaps where he was able to show what he can do,” Quinn said. “For him, it’s going to be as an inside player. Can he find ways to affect the quarterback?”

Jarrett played in 15 games and made two starts. He was listed as the backup behind Ra’Shede Hageman on the team’s final official depth chart.

“He’s got very, very good foot quickness,” Quinn said. “He’s not a 315-pounder and we don’t want him to be. He can anchor because he’s so strong. For him, developing some more pass rush inside will be the real factor for him moving forward.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter joins CineSport’s Noah Coslov to discuss the Falcons options in the first round of the NFL Draft and to identify who is making the ultimate decision.

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