Foye Oluokun Expected to Fill De’Vondre Campbell’s Role for Falcons

Foye Oluokun

Getty Foye Oluokun #54 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Mark Andrews #89 of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Atlanta Falcons lost starting linebacker, De’Vondre Campbell in free agency last month and now have a gap to fill. But Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn is confident they already have Foye Oluokun to take his place.

Quinn spoke with the local media on Wednesday afternoon and said Oluokun is ready to be a starter, per Atlanta Falcons’ reporter Kelsey Conway.

It’s not the first time Quinn has spoken highly about the 6-foot-4, 232-pound linebacker.

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Oluokon Has Proved Himself Start-Worthy

The Falcons selected Oluokon in the sixth-round during the 2018 NFL draft. Since then, he has shown to be nothing but promising for Atlanta. After Deion Jones landed on injury reserve, Oluokon took over and finished second on the team recording 89 tackles. He also earned a coverage grade of 70 from Pro Football Focus in five out of 10 games as a rookie.

Last season he didn’t see as much playing time but when he did, he didn’t disappoint. He had a career-high coverage grade against the Arizona Cardinals with a 90.6. His overall grade at the end of the season was 62.7, the second-highest of all Falcons linebackers and 37th in the NFL.

Falcons’ general manager, Thomas Dimitroff told last month that Oluokon has the ability to be a starter.

“We really like Foye’s overall ability and his overall package,” Dimitroff said. “His smarts, of course; he’s a very smart football player. He leads in his own, I think it’s an impressive way. He’s versatile as well, and he has the ability to be a starter in this league and play for us and be a starter for us.”

Oluokon’s Role on Defense

The former tight end, Oluokun doesn’t possess the same size as Campbell but he has shown his speed and proven to be a reliable tackler, something that Atlanta needs. He’s also shown his ability to carry tight ends downfield.

When trying to figure out how Oluokon could step in for Campbell, he distinguished a similarity between the two.

“That’s really how we featured Dre through the years is matching up on tight ends,” Quinn said. “So, Foye is definitely one [who can do that]. When you go into a game it’s usually, ‘OK, who are the guys that are going to guard the tight ends?’ Foye, when we did those, he did a lot. And he had to take on more of that role the year prior. So, his rookie year, he was actually doing that as well. We’ve gone through the last couple of years to make sure he can handle the tough assignments. I thought he is definitely one that, not only did we count on him, he would definitely be part of that group.”

While Olukon is said to start this upcoming season, he still has a lot to prove. The Falcons will also need to look into the linebacker position in the NFL draft or free agency to add more to the depth chart.

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