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This isn’t a name you will hear much, but he would fill a need for the Jets . . .
The Jets need to improve the instincts at the linebacker positions around C.J. Mosley.
There is more to the position than running and hitting, and too many of the guys around Mosley, were fast run-and-hit guys, who showed shaky instincts and at times that took themselves out of plays, didn’t drop into coverage at an ideal depth, things of that nature.
So while people are obsessed with weapons for Zach Wilson, a need being blown a little out of proportion, you could make a strong argument that a linebacker with top-shelf instincts to complement Mosley is at the top, or near the top of the list.
And that brings us to Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun. Aside from being fast (4.48 forty at the Combine) the Yale graduate is also very instinctive.
Keep in mind that Oluokun played for Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich from 2018-20 with the Falcons, where the current Jets assistant was the linebacker coach, and then was interim defensive coordinator in 2020 after HC Dan Quinn was fired in-season.
So Oluokun and Ulbrich have a strong relationship, and the player would come in already knowing the system, not that Yale graduate would take long to learn it from scratch.
Last season with the Falcons, Oluokun had three interceptions. The Jets had no linebacker interceptions last year. This needs to change. The Jets need more linebackers with the ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and jump routes. Oloukun is very good in zone coverage, something that the Jets linebacker corps as a whole must improve.
They drafted two safeties in the 2021 draft, Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasrildeen, and moved them to linebacker. Sherwood was rushed into action and suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Nasrildeen missed some games with a knee injury, but when on the field, played mainly on special teams. None of us know if either one will be successful in their transition, Time will tell. But there shouldn’t be blind faith assuming it will work. Faith doesn’t make players better than they are. We will see how those experiments turn out.
Oluokun is a bonafide linebacker.
He’s a little undersized (listed at 215, but is probably bigger now – that was his Yale size), and does get engulfed at times by offensive linemen and tight ends, but that is going to happen in this scheme, if the defensive linemen don’t tie up blockers allowing the fast linebackers, who are sometimes smaller than other systems, to flow to the ball.
A high school teammate of Ezekiel Elliott in St. Louis, Oluokun, the son of hard-working Nigerian immigrants, has great character, so he would fit in nicely into the football culture Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh are looking to build.
And he probably wouldn’t cost a fortune to sign. They could probably get him on a two or three-year deal with about a $15 million guarantee.
Now I wouldn’t go crazy with the contract. If another team goes nuts with an offer, I would walk away.
But if they could get him at a reasonable deal, they should go for it.
Because the instincts around Mosley must improve.
February 10, 2022
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