Grady Jarrett   DT   Clemson

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Grady is a powerful and complete defensive lineman. At the college level, he can play in any style of defensive front and impact. He is quick and has the change of direction skills of a linebacker, which makes it easy for him to finish and make sacks in the backfield from an interior position of the defensive line. Grady is very strong and easily handles double teams when defending against the run. Because of his quick hands, he can easily slip and split double teams to make tackles on the line of scrimmage while also escaping double teams when pass rushing to disrupt the rhythm of a play. Grady has the same type of talent as last yearís Rams rookie sensation, Aaron Donald. He is not as explosive off the line of scrimmage, but he is as quick and has the same ability to beat the double team and change of direction skills as Aaron has. Grady is very underrated which, with his quick feet and change of direction agility to rush the passer and make plays from the interior of the line of scrimmage, that is surprising to me. He is your sleeper defensive line player in this draft.

CONCERNS
Grady is vertically challenged for his position but, is unless there are some medical issues that I donít know about, Iím not convinced that lack of height with the amount of film that there is on Grady is a reason to downgrade him, at least it is not for me. Grady is not exploding off the line which concerns me because he has to get into his opponent quicker than his opponent gets into him to be effective. So check his medicals and if they are all right, this kid can be an impact player.

BOTTOM LINE
I suspect that if you are playing in mostly a 1 gap style of defensive front, Grady would be listed as an early selection on your teamís draft board as that is the defensive front in which he will be the most effective and impacting. But donít kid yourself: Grady handles a 2 gap style of defense very well. Clemson has an excellent defensive line coach who teaches the defensive linemen to play their positions as a unit and with excellent technique. Grady comes off the line of scrimmage with good pad level and gains the leverage necessary to control his man when playing 2 gap. His height is an advantage and his natural strength gives him the ability to extend his arms and to use the strength in his hands to slip blocks instead of shedding blocks while he changes the line of scrimmage to his advantage. He doesnít have the height or long arms that seem to be what most teams are looking for in their defensive linemen, but he can play better and become more of an impact player than most in this draft. Nevertheless, just because Grady doesnít look the part doesnít mean he canít play the part. When Grady was on the field against most teams, he required a double team to stop him from getting into the backfield. And, in spite of that, most of the time he was in the backfield anyway.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2015