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Faloholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Monday, Jan. 21

Yesterday’s big news has nothing to do with the Falcons.

NFC Championship - Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Hi all, and welcome to Falcoholinks. For the heart of the offseason, we’ll be taking our links to twice per week, meaning we’ll post the best links we’ve collected on Monday and Thursday. Once we get closer to the season (read: training camp), you’ll see us return to a more regular schedule.

The Saints are not coming to Atlanta

As the season wore on and the Falcons were clearly not going to make the Super Bowl, everyone’s enduring fear was that we’d be stuck with the Saints instead. There’s no way to sugarcoat how awful it would have been to see New Orleans in Atlanta for a couple of weeks and potentially winning it all in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so it is a huge relief that did not come to pass.

As Jeanna Thomas writes, it sure is a real shame. Unfortunately, the Patriots are in for a third straight year and we’re going to have to deal with Bradymania in all its glory, but that’s a small price to pay for not having to worry about the Saints.

Foye Oluokun’s promise

We’ll be talking more about him in our linebacker review and look-forward today, but Foye Oluokun deserves to be called out as one of Atlanta’s 2018 bright spots. The sixth round rookie looked like a far better player than former third rounder Duke RIley and wound up taking his job outright partway through the season, and depending on what Atlanta does between now and the end of August, he could enter 2019 as a nominal starter. The Falcons need to keep finding Oluokuns late to keep the team humming, if you can call what they did in 2018 humming.

Don’t be afraid of DT

Yesterday, I argued (to somewhat justified ridicule) that the Falcons have a strength at defensive tackle but shouldn’t be afraid to draft one in the first round come April. I did not mean to imply they’re elite there, but Grady Jarrett is terrific, Jack Crawford is at the very least a very tenacious pass rusher and Deadrin Senat has talent, and it’s certainly a better group than what Atlanta boasts at defensive end. If they have a chance to get an elite talent they like anywhere along the defensive line, I hope they do so.

Ed Oliver a draft target?

I wrote that in part because of Mel Kiper’s mock draft, one of a few to link Houston’s Ed Oliver to the Falcons. Oliver is one of my favorite players in this class and exactly the kind of athletic freak who should intrigue Atlanta, but there’s no guarantee he won’t end up among the top ten players selected. I’ll keep that torch burning as long as I can, though.