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Two Falcons make PFF’s list of top 32 interior defenders

Things change quickly in the NFL, especially for teams that underachieve. The Atlanta Falcons finished under .500 for a sixth consecutive season in 2023, and major changes followed shortly after.

The team hired head coach Raheem Morris, signed quarterback Kirk Cousins and traded away Desmond Ridder. While the Falcons didn’t make many changes on defense, they added multiple interior defensive linemen.

Not only did Atlanta draft Ruke Orhorhoro, Brandon Dorlus and Zion Logue, but veteran Eddie Goldman came out of retirement to sign with the team. However, let’s not forget about Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata.

Jarrett’s been a force in Atlanta for the past decade but rarely gets the respect he deserves. Onyemata signed with the team in 2023 and played extremely well last season.

Both Jarrett and Onyemata were ranked among the NFL’s top 32 interior defensive linemen in a new feature by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus. Onyemata came in at No. 18 on PFF’s list:

Onyemata followed former Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen from New Orleans to Atlanta last season. Nielsen took the Jaguars defensive coordinator job over the offseason, but Onyemata returns and should play an important role again in 2024.

As for Jarrett, he was a little further down PFF’s list, coming in at No. 28:

The Falcons have not re-signed veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell and a return doesn’t seem likely considering the team’s offseason additions. However, any team would benefit from a versatile defender like Campbell, so don’t rule it out just yet.

Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire