Editor's Note: This feature on Falcons inside linebacker Foye Oluokun is the fifth story in AtlantaFalcons.com's "Meet the Scouts" series.
The series provides insight into key members of the Falcons' player personnel department, and behind the scenes looks at how the Falcons discovered some of their top players.
By Tori McElhaney
Growing up, there was a very specific way Foye Oluokun played any football-based video game. He would take a defensive back and move him to linebacker.
The unorthodox strategy was sound.
They were always faster, so the player could essentially go wherever Oluokun wanted and get there with ease. Oluokun said that, when he was allowed to play video games "back in the day," this was his move with a controller in hand.
Little did a young Oluokun know that he would become a real-life version of the video game player he always found essential, thanks in part to Jeff Ulbrich, Steve Sabo and the Falcons college scouting staff that found him.
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Like Grady Jarrett three years before, Oluokun was overlooked as a potentially high draft pick coming out of college in 2018. He was a safety at Yale. He didn't get an invite to the Senior Bowl, nor the NFL Combine. He had a shot to show off his build and talent only at his pro day.
James Bodenheimer, the Falcons northeast area scout at the time, was in attendance. He saw a solid workout and met an intriguing young man. At the same time, Sabo was looking at Oluokun's numbers from the 2017 college season. Now the Falcons director of pro personnel, at the time Sabo was the Falcons director of college scouting. What he saw as he looked at Oluokun on paper piqued his interest.
"I am seeing the numbers, and the numbers kind of pop," Sabo said. "... Now, I can see a bigger picture. You're looking across the stat line and he's got forced fumbles, interceptions, fumble recoveries, sacks, tackles for loss -- all in that '17 season."
Then, you flip on Oluokun's tape. What you see before you is a player deployed…everywhere.
"When we're watching, he's playing corner. Then, the next play he's a single high safety. Next play, he's playing inside linebacker," Sabo said. "In a game, he may have played four and five positions."