Grady Jarrett continued to be a physical force vs. the inside running game, as he posted ten stops-for-loss and 12 QB pressures, finishing third on the team with 73 tackles as a senior. Producing 19.0 stops-for-loss during his two years starting at strong-side tackle, Jarrett’s additional 25 pounds on his frame delivered 10.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage among his 59 hits in 2013.
Jarrett is still not an imposing looking athlete, but he is capable of frustrating blockers with his tenacity as the game wears on. He has a shorter than ideal frame, but shows good thickness throughout his torso and hips. He is undersized for a 4-3 defensive tackle and “lacks sand in his pants” to play nose guard, but with his improved foot speed, he could be utilized as an under-tackle in sub packages.
The Tiger has a thick lower frame and shows the ability to flash quickly getting off the ball, but he does need to do it with better consistency. His lack of height is sometimes an advantage, as he stays low in his pads and gets his hands up on the rise to shock a lethargic blocker.
For an undersized player, Jarrett packs tremendous force behind his hand strikes. When he stays low in his pads, he plays with leverage and has that low center of gravity to get under a blocker’s pads. He creates piles vs. the double team, but with better conditioning, he could be an effective terror shooting the gaps. He has a good feel for blocking schemes and is very combative with his arms, fighting pressure to work his way to the ball. He lacks sustained quickness or good lateral agility, but shows good hustle going down the line of scrimmage in pursuit.
Jarrett is a puncher, a mauler, a player who is very strong for his size, especially when shooting his hands. He can keep separation and handle larger players with leverage. When he attacks an offensive lineman, his initial hand jolt will usually knock the opponent off balance, allowing him to dip in attempts to shorten the edge. You can see on film that his strong stab action lets him easily separate and shed.
Jarrett excels at stacking and controlling, as he can make piles with the best of them, but he is more of a collision type of tackler than one with wrap-up technique. He is very strong in locking up ball carriers on plays in front of him, but if he has to give chase at the perimeters, he won’t win any of those battles. He will sometimes revert to wrestling the opponent to get off the block, losing sight of the ball.
The senior has above average strength to contain the ball carrier, showing strength, hip snap and roll on contact. He has good jolt and strike ability, but is best when working at the point of attack rather than in long pursuit along the sidelines. He has a very strong anchor and when he plays with a low center of gravity and squares his shoulders, he can easy split double teams.
Once he extends his arms inside his frame, he can deliver a jarring hit into the ball carrier, as the lead blocker is then obliterated and fails to get into Jarrett’s body. When he gets into the gaps, he is too disruptive for one blocker to contain. But when he gets high in his stance, he can get washed past the ball if he does not beat the combo initially. He stays up and gets involved in attempts to gain gap penetration, showing enough short area burst to collapse the pocket, but is more of a pressure type than one who will get to the passer.
Jarrett has a good feel for blocks and where they are coming from. He knows when to create a pile and likes being the “traffic cop” directing traffic in the middle of the field, as he knows he can’t generate relentless pursuit. He has good awareness and ability to read and react to the pass and run, and has a combative nature taking on combos and traps.
If Bill Parcells was still coaching today, he might see a lot of one of his favorite “whipping boys” – Jim Burt – in the style of game that Jarrett plays. When he gets a good angle, he attacks the ball carrier with intent, getting good collision upon contact. While he can make plays behind the line of scrimmage, he seems is just as comfortable in his role of handling combos and stacking at the point of attack.
Grady Jarrett Scouting Combine measurables
6-1/304 (5.06 forty)
32 3/8-inch arm length
31-inch vertical jump
112-inch broad jump
7.37 3 cone drill
4.56 20 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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