Going into the Atlanta Falcons 2021 season, there is a lot to like and a lot to not like with the roster.
Certainly, the offense is one of the positive things, especially the top two receiving threats that the team boasts. One position that Atlanta Falcons fans should be excited about, is the linebacker group.
In 2020, the Falcons linebacking core was the strongest position on the defense. They had to make many of the plays that the others could not.
It is not hard to see them being even better going into this next season.
The Atlanta Falcons do not get much media attention when it comes to their linebackers, but that needs to change. They have some of the best starting linebackers in the league.
It all starts with Deion Jones, one of the best, if not the best, playmaking linebackers in the NFL. In fact, one of the best playmaking linebackers in NFL history.
He makes all sorts of plays that make you jump out of your seat. He can take the ball away, or come flying out of nowhere to make a tackle for loss. He may not be the most physically dominant linebacker, but he does not need to be. When you can run around blockers, it gives you the same solution.
After Deion Jones, you have a rising star in Foye Oluokun. Falcons fans all think he was a pro bowl snub. You can certainly make a compelling argument.
He had shown flashes through his first few seasons, but last year was when he put it all together and became a star.
A couple games that stick out when talking about Foye’s 2020 season, were against the Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs. Ignoring the outcome of those games, Foye had great performances.
Starting with the Cowboys, he was able to force multiple fumbles against Ezekiel Elliott. It is rare for a player to get one forced fumble, let alone Foye being able to force three of them.
Against the Chiefs, he was the lone reason the Chiefs did not score a touchdown until late. He was able to make an acrobatic interception on the goal line, almost returning it the distance.
The future gets brighter for this young star, now hopefully the Atlanta Falcons can secure him for the upcoming years.
After that, you have Mykal Walker, who enters his second year. He was one of the biggest surprises for the Falcons. In his limited snaps, he had one of the highest coverage grades by a linebacker, according to Pro Football Focus.
No one expected him to play as well as he did, especially in a rookie season.
The top three are as strong as it gets, but the depth is a tad bit concerning.
Brandon Copeland, Erroll Thompson, and Dorian Etheridge are the remaining linebackers on the Atlanta Falcons.
Brandon Copeland has been a good player his whole career, so certainly he should make the roster and be a good depth player.
Obviously, with Erroll Thompson and Dorian Etheridge, it remains to be seen what they can provide. They are undrafted rookies and have to fight to make the roster.
The top three linebackers on the Atlanta Falcons are some of the best in the NFL. It is the last position fans should be worried about on that defense, barring any injuries.