2. Courtney Upshaw, pending Atlanta Falcons free agent linebacker/defensive end
Courtney Upshaw’s time in the NFL has not gone exactly according to plan. Already a Super Bowl winner with the Baltimore Ravens, the former second-round Ravens pick has managed to land on some competitive teams but hasn’t delivered on his potential.
Playing on talented Ravens and Falcons defenses, Upshaw has not always had the most playing time. He worked his way into the starting lineup in Baltimore going from nine starts his rookie season in 2012 to 15 starts in 2015.
Upshaw had just five starts in Atlanta. Yet he made the most of his playing time, contributing in 23 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovered, a half sack, and a pass defensed. It may not be the highest production, but it was efficient production and enough for CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco to recommend the Falcons bring him back.
With a new emphasis on versatility, the Jacksonville Jaguars would be wise to bring in Upshaw who could be added to the linebacker position’s depth chart and used as a situational pass rusher as well. He has performed well in both the Ravens’ 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker and experimented in the Falcons’ 4-3 defense as a defensive end.