Jarrett -- after an inauspicious rookie season in 2015 in a part-time role -- took a distinct step in Year 2 and was essentially the same player in his third season. It was in Year 4 that Jarrett drifted from above-average disruptor to legitimate star. The only problem: By 2018, when he genuinely arrived on the scene with 53 pressures in only 463 pass-rushing opportunities, the Falcons were two years removed from their Super Bowl appearance, and Atlanta had football's third-worst defense, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA.
Playing on a low-end unit devoid of a household name besides himself, Jarrett has quietly gone about his business and regularly put guards and centers on their butts en route to the quarterback.
Like Jarrett, Franklin-Myers has hovered under the radar, but at the outset of his career, it was for an entirely different reason. A fourth-round pick in 2018 by the Rams, Franklin-Myers put his hand in the rubber-pellet filled turf next to pass-rushing deity Aaron Donald as a rookie.
That year, Franklin-Myers registered 28 pressures at a decently high pressure-creation rate of 11.5% (242 pass-rushing snaps). He had a strip sack of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. For some reason unbeknownst to me, the Rams cut Franklin-Myers before the 2019 campaign kicked off. The Jets ran to pick him up as fast as Stanley from "The Office" got out of his seat to get in line on Pretzel Day. But an ankle injury sidelined him for the entire year. Franklin-Myers, that is. Not Stanley.
Last season, Franklin-Myers was dominant. And that's not a stretch. Check how efficient he was getting after the opposing quarterback compared to a handful of established stars on the inside:
|QB Pressures||Pressure-Creation Rate|
Sample size has to be considered here, as Franklin-Myers had the fewest amount of pass-rushing snaps (353) of anyone in the table above. But he did more with his opportunities than each of those rushers besides Donald. Remarkable.
And the high productivity was not a fluke. Trust me. Franklin-Myers' film can be likened to watching the movie "300." Nonstop chaos. He wins in a multitude of ways in multiple pre-snap alignments at a unique 6-foot-4 and 288 pounds. His burst is outstanding, his hands are active and heavy, and there's never a play in which his hair isn't on fire through the whistle.
Like Jarrett, because Franklin-Myers was on an abysmal Jets club, his impactful season went almost completely unnoticed.
And just like in his debut NFL campaign, Franklin-Myers will pin his ears back next to a highly touted former first-round pick (Quinnen Williams) who's bound to draw most of the attention from fans and media.
Sure, Williams was good last season, too. But his pressure-creation rate was only 10.3% on right around the same amount of pass-rushing chances as Franklin-Myers.
I'll finish with this -- Franklin-Myers' impending breakout is tremendous news for his bank account. After Jarrett's monstrous Year 4, the Falcons smacked the franchise tag on him before signing him to a four-year, $68 million contract with $38 million fully guaranteed. Franklin-Myers is in for a similar Year 4, which just so happens to be the last season of his rookie deal. Cha-ching.