Grady Jarrett - Atlanta Falcons #97 Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Atlanta Falcons News

Grady Jarrett Raising Expectations for Falcons Defense

Newly signed Atlanta Falcons defensive end Calais Campbell started it. Now, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has joined the hype.

While speaking to the media on April 11, Jarrett shared how confident he feels about the Falcons defense taking a major step forward during the 2023 season.

“I envision this team being a really strong defensive team,” Jarrett said. “At the core, I think we’re going to be really strong upfront on the offense and defensive line, so I think that’s really going to drive us forward.”

In addition to Campbell, the Falcons also signed defensive tackle David Onyemata from the rival New Orleans Saints. Jarrett raved about both moves and compared the Campbell signing to when he began his career playing alongside Dwight Freeney.

Jarrett also expressed his excitement about the Falcons re-signing both offensive linemen Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. Lindstrom is set to be the highest-paid guard in the NFL on his new five-year contract. McGary signed a three-year extension.

In their latest move, the Falcons traded a fifth-round pick for cornerback Jeff Okudah. The Detroit Lions drafted Okudah at the No. 3 overall just three years ago.

Acquiring Okudah will cost the Falcons about $5 million in cap space, but essentially, Atlanta landed a high-upside cornerback for a mid-Day 3 selection. If he plays to his potential, he’s another piece that could make a difference on the Falcons defense.

On April 6, Campbell echoed the sentiment Jarrett conveyed on Tuesday.

“This team is going to be a very competitive, tough team,” Campbell told the media. “Based off of our conversations I feel like this defense can be a force and if we have a stout defense, with the offense being able to score points and the run game controlling the clock, I think this can be a very strong team.”