The Falcons invited five tryout players to rookie minicamp, and one of them has turned that opportunity into a roster spot. As you may have seen yesterday, Atlanta added veteran Olive Sagapolu to the roster, giving them one more interesting player in a deep and intriguing defensive tackle group.
Sagapolu signed as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin, where he played nose tackle for four years and managed 10 tackles for loss and 6 sacks, with the Packers after the 2019 NFL Draft, spending some time there before joining the Detroit practice squad in late 2019. He spent part of the 2020 season in Detroit, as well, and has yet to appear in an NFL regular season game. If all goes well, that will change in Atlanta.
Congrats to @OSagapolu for signing with the #AtlantaFalcons! pic.twitter.com/dZoG3ybbtJ— Jason Bernstein (@Clarity_JB) May 16, 2021
Obviously Sagapolu has to contend with a defensive line that is heavy on options, given the number of veterans here and Atlanta’s decision to add two more players in the 2021 NFL Draft. If the Falcons are intent on playing a lot of 3-4, however, Sagapolu could be one of the most logical candidates for a reserve role as a nose tackle in Dean Pees’ defense, as our own Kevin Knight notes.
#Falcons finally add a traditional 3-4 NT in Olive Sagapolu, who is 6'2, 330 with some impressive athleticism. https://t.co/oXVKk4xpyE— Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) May 16, 2021
Eric Robinson is a fan, as well.
Olive Sagapolu has roster potential. This is a big man with considerable upside. pic.twitter.com/DxomV8JG0J— Eric Robinson (@_Eric_Robinson) May 16, 2021
It’s hard to go from tryout player to 53 man roster addition, but Sagapolu will at least bear watching under a new coaching staff that has stressed open competition across the roster. Atlanta certainly looks like a team that could use an athletic 24-year-old nose tackle, so give Sagapolu a warm welcome to Atlanta and we’ll see what kind of noise he ends up making this summer.