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Building Blocks: Foye Oluokon


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Foye Oluokun's unique journey to the NFL is well documented. If you don't know about it, read up. It's a good one. The son of Nigerian immigrants with Yale smarts and NFL physical skills is more than just a great story.

The former sixth-round pick without an NFL combine or Senior Bowl invite is now an established starting NFL linebacker, someone expected to anchor the Falcons defense now and possibly into the future.

The conditional in that last sentence refers to Oluokun's contract status. He'll be an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season, creating some uncertainty about whether he'll be around long-term. The Falcons have already paid Deion Jones handsomely. Will they find a way to retain keep his partner in crime?

They should. Especially if Oluokun plays like he did last year, when he had 117 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles, four passes and two interceptions playing mostly at weakside linebacker. Not too bad for 2018's No. 200 overall pick, though it isn't a true breakout year.

Oluokun proved he could play at this level as a rookie, filling in admirably at middle linebacker when Jones dealt with a foot injury. He started seven games and had 91 tackles that season an excellent start to an unexpected career. Few go from the Ivy League to the NFL. A minuscule number truly thrives.

Oluokun is that rare case, now a feature player in a quality linebacker corps. The Falcons' obvious defensive strength features Jones, upstart Mykal Walker and Oluokun in prominent roles. They're athletic, tough and agile. They're smart and savvy. They're a source of stability for a secondary and defensive front that simply must improve in 2021. Oluokun is the very definition of a modern linebacker. He isn't the 255-pounder with a neck roll and an intimidating face mask who can only play downhill. He's 6-foot-2, 218 pounds and can run, cover and tackle. He's part of a larger NFL trend valuing linebacker versatility, and that's not going away anytime soon.

Jones is under contract through 2023, with a current deal structure that virtually ensures he'll be around the next two seasons at least. Walker's career is just getting started. Oluokun's a veteran now, someone just entering his prime. He's definitely someone to build around, a point he can emphatically prove by executing new coordinator Dean Pees' new scheme well.

That should set him up for a second pact with the Falcons and an opportunity to help lead this Falcons defense toward a more prosperous future.

https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/falcons-building-blocks-foye-oluokun-more-than-just-a-great-story

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Jones counts what 30 something million in 2022 and 2023? Probably can get Foye signed at 10 per and Jones is traded.

3 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

He's 6-foot-2, 218 pounds and can run

And he is way bigger than that right? Got to be 230. Speaking of "bigger" I have to wonder if the man with pee test showed up at his locker after what he was doing to Dallas in what 20 plays before going out with leg issue. Man I wish he could have finished that game

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22 minutes ago, OrthoPTSD said:

Jones counts what 30 something million in 2022 and 2023? Probably can get Foye signed at 10 per and Jones is traded.

And he is way bigger than that right? Got to be 230. Speaking of "bigger" I have to wonder if the man with pee test showed up at his locker after what he was doing to Dallas in what 20 plays before going out with leg issue. Man I wish he could have finished that game

And probably have Jones replacement on the roster

Walker, in fact, was named to the Pro Football Focus 2020 All-Rookie Team, a group that includes the likes of the aforementioned Young, Brown and Simmons.

"If going purely off counting stats such as tackles, the all-rookie linebackers would be players like Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen, who started for their respective defenses and piled up numbers," writes Ben Linsey of PFF. "The PFF grades tell a different story, with Murray earning a PFF grade of 54.4 on the season and Queen coming in as one of the lowest-graded linebackers in the league at 29.8.

"Walker is one of the players who shined in a more limited role. Across 387 defensive snaps this season, he earned a 74.0 overall grade that included a 90.7 grade in coverage. Walker allowed just 74 passing yards into his coverage on 152 coverage snaps all season. He may not have the same stats as several of the other rookie linebackers across the league, but his play warrants some recognition here.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Bunchy Carter said:

I've BEEN on the Foye train...

Yeah...I have not been on the train but I got a ticket his rookie year.

He showed flashes but I think his fairly slow development has been a plus for him.

He is a great example of teams doing things the right way.

The FO and staff knew that Campbell was a FA in a couple of years when they drafted Foye... thinking/hoping that he could develope into Dre's replacement....and that is what he did.

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3 hours ago, OrthoPTSD said:

And probably have Jones replacement on the roster

Walker, in fact, was named to the Pro Football Focus 2020 All-Rookie Team, a group that includes the likes of the aforementioned Young, Brown and Simmons.

"If going purely off counting stats such as tackles, the all-rookie linebackers would be players like Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen, who started for their respective defenses and piled up numbers," writes Ben Linsey of PFF. "The PFF grades tell a different story, with Murray earning a PFF grade of 54.4 on the season and Queen coming in as one of the lowest-graded linebackers in the league at 29.8.

"Walker is one of the players who shined in a more limited role. Across 387 defensive snaps this season, he earned a 74.0 overall grade that included a 90.7 grade in coverage. Walker allowed just 74 passing yards into his coverage on 152 coverage snaps all season. He may not have the same stats as several of the other rookie linebackers across the league, but his play warrants some recognition here.

 

 

Walker played well bro but i dont know about that. There are not many backers that can do what he can  when fully engaged. He neutralizes Kamara and CMC.  

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7 hours ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Love Foye but y'all are dumb about Debo. Just saying

Debo is one of the few reasons to watch this defense, but cant see them both on team with what Foye market will pay,(10 million per?) and Debo getting 35 million over 2022 and 2023

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Like Foye but we should not be paying him. Walker will continue to grow this year after a great rookie season and take over next season when Foye walks.

Deion is going to make a lot of people look silly this year under Pees.

Edited by PriMeTiiMe
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11 hours ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Love Foye but y'all are dumb about Debo. Just saying

One thing about Debo. Everyone was bashing him left and right the past 2 seasons but wouldn't acknowledge that he was trying to overcompensate for other guys poor play. He was out there trying to do 3 different players jobs and was running out of gas. 

With that said, Foye has certainly came a long way and whatever he gets paid, it will be earned. Hoping he can stay with the Falcons but I know that's a stretch

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5 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

One thing about Debo. Everyone was bashing him left and right the past 2 seasons but wouldn't acknowledge that he was trying to overcompensate for other guys poor play. He was out there trying to do 3 different players jobs and was running out of gas. 

With that said, Foye has certainly came a long way and whatever he gets paid, it will be earned. Hoping he can stay with the Falcons but I know that's a stretch

We gotta pay somebody. Why not a top 3 player on defense?

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