The Falcons have apparently identified a need at nose tackle in their defense, because they invited two candidates as tryout players for rookie minicamp and wound up signing both of them.
Yesterday, we heard from that 24-year-old Olive Sagapolu would be joining up, and today the Falcons made that addition official and announced the signing of veteran nose tackle Eli Ankou. They released Texas Tech defensive end Eli Howard, who joined up earlier this month as an undrafted free agent.
We have signed DL Eli Ankou and DL Olive Sagapolu and have released DL Eli Howard. https://t.co/xcBJz6zrTO— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) May 17, 2021
What Sagapolu brings to the table is impressive athleticism and upside, where Ankou brings experience. He’s played 27 games in the NFL for the Jaguars, Browns and Cowboys with two starts, and is a pretty good athlete in his own right. My working assumption has been that Tyeler Davison will be the team’s de facto nose tackle, though Dean Pees is likely to mix up his fronts quite a bit, but Sagapolu and Ankou absolutely have the opportunity to impress enough to not only make the roster but find their way to snaps if all goes well. This was a competition that didn’t exist two days ago but has suddenly become something worth watching this summer.
Congratulations to Ankou and Sagapolu for turning an audition into roster spots, and I’ll look forward to watching this compete in the months ahead.