We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
We’ll get things started with the projected starters. The third group I’ll be examining is LB, where the Falcons lost starter De’Vondre Campbell to free agency and drafted Mykal Walker in the fourth round. Just how good can the LB corps be without Campbell in 2020?
Today, we take a closer look at the presumptive starter next to Deion Jones: third-year player Foyesade Oluokun.
LB Foyesade Oluokun
Age: 24 (25 during 2020 season)
Contract: $786K cap hit in 2020, rookie contract through 2021 ($715K APY)
Career Production: 32 games played, 10 games started | 153 total tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1 PD, 2 FF
2019 Production: 16 games played, 3 games started | 62 total tackles, 2.0 TFL, 6.1% missed tackle rate, 1 FF | 91.7% completion percentage allowed, 101.7 passer rating allowed
Previous Teams: Drafted 6th round (#200 overall) by the Atlanta Falcons (2018-present)
Measurables: 6’2, 229 | 4.56 40-yard dash | 4.12 20-yard shuttle | 37” vertical jump | 123” broad jump (All numbers from Pro Day)
A late-round pick who has developed into a quality rotational player and spot starter, Foyesade Oluokun was an FCS prospect from Yale who generated a ton of buzz after a dynamic showing at his Pro Day. His numbers would have placed him firmly in the top-5 most athletic LBs at the 2018 NFL Combine, and teams began to quickly gain interest in the two-time All-Ivy League player.
Oluokun originally began his football career as a safety, transitioning to LB in his Senior season at Yale. His athleticism and background as a DB gave him fairly advanced coverage chops for an FCS player, and the Falcons were interested in his impressive range and speed. Initially thought to be a depth player, Oluokun was forced into action early in his rookie season after Pro Bowl starter Deion Jones suffered an injury which placed him on IR for the majority of the 2018 season.
Oluokun performed admirably in his absence, holding down the fort at LB with quality tackling and athleticism. After Jones returned to health in late 2018 and 2019, Oluokun once again returned to a depth role as the third LB in the rotation—which the Falcons only utilized on about 30% of plays. Oluokun has been a reliable tackler with excellent range over his first two seasons, but he’s struggled in coverage against NFL-caliber players. With De’Vondre Campbell gone and no other heir apparent on the roster, Oluokun is expected to take over the starting WLB role opposite Jones in 2020.
Projection: Oluokun should produce as a solid starter for the Falcons in 2020. He’ll continue to be a strong tackler with plus athleticism, but he must improve in coverage to become anything more than that. If the defense around him is better and Oluokun refines his coverage, he has the upside of an above-average NFL LB due to his athletic ability.