Detroit Lions Draft Profiles: Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson


The SideLion Report’s Detroit Lions Draft Profiles series gives an in-depth scouting analysis of college football players who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar this spring.

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Having lost their top two starters at the defensive tackle position to free agency, the Lions clearly are on the lookout to add talent to their defensive interior. Despite the promising additions of Pro-Bowler Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker, additional depth is necessary if the defense is to continue to play at such a high level. Grady Jarrett of Clemson is a prospect who could fit the bill. A former high school wrestler, Jarrett is an unrelenting fighter with a motor that very few players at his position possess. His smaller frame could be viewed as detrimental by many clubs, but there is no doubt the team that takes him will be getting a good football player.

After viewing four games (Georgia, Florida State, Louisville, Georgia Tech), I gave Jarrett a 6.8 F, O  grade (mid second round). Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:

Grady Jarrett, DT – Clemson

Height: 6010   Weight: 304   40 Time: 5.06

Strong Points:

Quick first step – explodes off the ball. Natural bender who plays with good pad level, power and leverage.  Possesses the quickness to consistently knife gaps and gain backfield penetration before OL can reach him.  Sudden, coordinated athlete who is quick on his feet – can redirect quickly with no wasted motion.  Has above average speed and ‘plus’ range to make plays outside the tackle box.  Sneaky powerful for his size – can collapse the pocket when bull-rushing bigger blockers if he gets a head of steam.  Quick, powerful hands to shed and stay off blocks.  Rare motor – fights hard from snap to whistle, will chase down ball carriers in pursuit and make plays on second effort.  Keys and diagnoses quickly.  High character.  Tough and will play through pain.

Weak Points:

Has size limitations – lacks ideal height, length and weight for the position.  Struggles holding his ground at the point of attack against double teams.  Can get locked on and washed out versus downhill run blocks.  Short arms cause him to struggle lassoing his man and finishing. 


A three-year starter, Grady has been a consistently productive player for the Tigers, notching 207 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 37 quarterback pressures, one pass breakup, two caused fumbles and four recovered fumbles over 37 career starts.  An absolute joy to evaluate, Jarrett is a relentless defender who wins his one-on-one matchups with a combination of power, explosion, agility and heart.  No doubt his lack of size limits his anchor ability and scheme fit to a one-gap penetrator in a 43 front.  Most 3-4 teams will not have him nearly as highly rated on their draft boards.  NFL clubs place a premium on size, and at best, many will have him graded a round later than I do.  However, scouting college prospects is part science and part art and Grady Jarrett is one football player I would pound the table for in a war room.  Early contributor with starter potential as a shade nose in a one-gap 4-3.

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