Entering his seventh NFL season, all with the Atlanta Falcons, former Clemson defensive lineman Grady Jarrett has been selected to a pair of Pro Bowls (2019, 2020) and earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2019. He was recently ranked No. 54 in the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2021 list, which is voted on by the players, after tallying 52 total tackles (27 solo), 4.0 sacks, eight tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits and one fumble recovery in 16 games with 16 starts last season.
But despite all of Jarrett’s accomplishments in the NFL, he isn’t one to rest on his laurels. Instead, he continues to grind in order to get better, and that’s what his new head coach – Falcons first-year head man Arthur Smith – loves about Jarrett.
“He’s a real dude, and I mean that in the highest compliment,” Smith said recently following the Falcons’ joint practices with the Miami Dolphins. “He comes out here and works and tries to compete and get better, doesn’t rest on anything he’s done in the past. He tries to prove it every year in the NFL, really every week.”
Overall, Jarrett has seen action in 93 games during his NFL career dating back to 2015, making 78 starts while totaling 300 tackles (160 solo) with 25.5 sacks, 51 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 76 quarterback hits.
Jarrett prides himself on leading his Falcons teammates by example and being a steady presence in the locker room that other players can look to and lean on.
“I always say, being in a leadership role, I can never ask anything of anybody I’m not willing to do myself,” he said. “So, coming in day in and day out, putting in work, being the example. Whether it’s going good, going bad, I always know I’m going to show up and just try to be that steady thing guys can look to. There’s no excuses, and always gotta go to work. So, I always try to learn how I can best serve my teammates and what I can do to make myself better as well. So, just being self-critical before I criticize somebody else, and really just focus on building people up versus bringing them down.”