The Falcons have finally done it. They are finally thinking about fixing their linebacker problems, and are looking at a former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw. He excels in the run game, but flamed out as a pass rusher and lacks the speed and athleticism the team talked about acquiring earlier this offseason.
#Ravens OLB Courtney Upshaw, one of the top available free agents, is set to visit the Atlanta #Falcons, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 24, 2016
The Falcons have lost Nate Stupar, cut Justin Durant, and have been talking with Phillip Wheeler, but are very short on bodies and talent at linebacker. Upshaw provides some upside, but was otherwise a bust for the Ravens. As you would imagine, the players still available in free agency are unlikely to make a big impact this season.
SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown wondered recently what went wrong with Upshaw.
When the Ravens needed Upshaw to show a little of what he could do as a pass rusher or in coverage, we've seen him fail time and time again.
Upshaw would likely fit well as a strong side linebacker, a spot currently manned by Brooks Reed. At 272 pounds, he has the size to play end, and could be an early down player with a sprinkle of pass rush ability. His limited speed would be less problematic filling in a rotational role on the defensive line. The Falcons may be thinking of using him as an upgrade over O'Brien Schofield, who wore down late last season.