Monday, January 17, 2022

Falcons Add Depth to Lackluster Pass Rush, Signing Ex-Texans LB

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The Atlanta Falcons haven’t been taking days off, adding new players to their roster every day this week.

On Thursday, the team added its 19th player to its reserve/futures list by signing outside linebacker Duke Ejiofor.

The Falcons have several needs to address this offseason, and adding help to their lackluster passing rush is one of them after finishing last in 2021.

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After three years at Wake Forest University, Ejiofor was selected by the Houston Texans in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft, his hometown team.

It came as a big surprise to him as the Texans showed no interest in him during or after the NFL Scouting Combine.

“I didn’t think they would be interested in me initially,” Ejiofor said of the in a 2018 post-draft interview CHRON. “Seeing them call me is the greatest blessing in the world.”

The 6-4, 275-pound OLB was due to draft higher and had great interest from the New England Patriots, but an injury setback lowered his draft value.

Ejiofor’s best season at Wake Forest was his last, in which he recorded 50 tackles, 17 losses, 10.5 sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles as a junior. In 38 games over three seasons as Demon Deacon, Ejiofor recorded 122 tackles and 23.5 sacks.

As an NFL rookie, he saw action in 12 games but recorded just one sack, which remains his only to date.

Ejiofor’s football career has spanned more than just his college injury setback, as he suffered cruciate ligament ruptures in 2019 and 2020 and missed two straight seasons. He returned in 2021 but was waived by Houston after failing his physical exam.

There’s no telling how he spent the 2021 season if he wasn’t on a team, but he was got to trained when the Falcons are keeping an eye on him for one of their most pressing needs.

Ejiofor joins 18 other new Falcons players who signed reserve/future contracts over the past week.

Here’s the full list so far:

DB Cornell Armstrong
OIL Willie Beaver
OLB Quinton bell
LB Jordan Brailford
LB Dorian Etheridge
WR Chad Hansen
RB Caleb Huntley
DB Lutheran Church
P Sun May
OIL Ryan Neuzil
DB Lafayette Pitts
AT THE John Raine
LB Rashad Smith
FROM Nick Thurman
WR Austin Trammel
DB De Aundre Alford
WR/TE Brayden Lenius
CB/KR Corey Ballentine
OLB Duke Ejiofor

It looks like the only outside linebacker Ejiofor faces on this list so far is Quinton Bell, who spent the entire 2021 season on the Falcons’ practice team. Bell joined the league a year after Ejiofor and doesn’t have much more experience than he does, other than playing a role on the Buccaneers’ special teams before coming to Atlanta. So it looks like it’s going to be a fair competition.

CONTINUE READING:

DB Cornell Armstrong
OIL Willie Beaver
OLB Quinton bell
LB Jordan Brailford
LB Dorian Etheridge
WR Chad Hansen
RB Caleb Huntley
DB Lutheran Church
P Sun May
OIL Ryan Neuzil
DB Lafayette Pitts
AT THE John Raine
LB Rashad Smith
FROM Nick Thurman
WR Austin Trammel
DB De Aundre Alford
WR/TE Brayden Lenius
CB/KR Corey Ballentine
OLB Duke Ejiofor

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