Back in 2013, college free agent signing Paul Worrilow turned heads with a stellar training camp, playing so well in July and August that he quickly became a starting linebacker. This year, the Falcons have a group of young LBs who could break out in a similar way — and potentially challenge Worrilow for defensive snaps.
Worrilow's biggest competition might come from Deion Jones. The fleet-footed second round draft pick received some first-team reps during offseason workouts and, if strength isn't an issue, could contribute right away.
De'Vondre Campbell is another draft pick who has the raw tools needed to step in as a rookie. The University of Minnesota alum can help on special teams, Chuck Smith told AtlantaFalcons.com, adding that Campbell is the kind of player that helps build championships.
Joining Campbell and Jones in the Rookie Club is CFA addition Torrey Green. A teammate of DJ Tialavea's at Utah State, he racked up 90 tackles (20.5 for loss) and seven sacks in 32 games with the Aggies.
Someone who knows what it's like to be in Green's position is LaRoy Reynolds, signed by Jacksonville as a CFA in 2013. Known for his work on special teams, the former Jaguar and Bear can carve out a meaningful role in Atlanta even if he doesn't play much linebacker.
And then there's Sean Weatherspoon. Although he already enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Falcons, he needs to re-prove himself after sustaining numerous injuries and spending a year in Arizona. Camp will be especially important for Weatherspoon, who will be trying to show coaches he still has the physical skills that made him a fan favorite in 2011. Who will be the training camp star of the LB group?