One of the biggest moves the Jacksonville Jaguars made in 2022 was signing linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, who's become an integral piece of the offensive puzzle. The veteran is racking up pretty good numbers this season and is among the top players at his position. However, he's not getting enough recognition across the NFL. Matt Hamilton of FanDuel echoed that sentiment during a recent conversation with Kay Adams.
"We're severely underreacting to what Jaguars linebacker Foye Oluokun is doing not just this year, but what he's been doing over the last couple of years," Hamilton told Adams. "Because he isn't just the leader of this Jaguars defense making plays like this. This pick-six that we saw last week off of Derek Carr led them to that win on Thursday night."
"He's having a stretch that puts him with some of the greatest tacklers that this league has ever seen. He's currently second in the league with 81 tackles, that's on pace for 197 on the year. And why is that significant? Check this out. Look at these numbers. It's kind of insane. So since 1987, only two players have had multiple 180-tackle seasons since tackles became an official stat. It's him and it's Jesse Tuggle and he's already on his way to a third this year," Hamilton said.
Hamilton later points out that this is significant because not even great linebackers in the NFL, such as Ray Lewis or Luke Kuechly, have accomplished that feat. All things considered, that's some pretty good company to be with.
A sixth-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2018, Oluokun inked a top-market deal with the Jaguars last year. At the time of the signing, general manager Trent Baalke described Oluokun as a great tackler and a hard worker. Baalke also added that he was just beginning his career. Looking back, he might've been into something.
After all, the Yale product was a good player in Atlanta but he's become a more complete player since joining the Jags. This season, he raised his game to the next level, registering 81 tackles, five passes defensed, and four tackles for a loss. On top of that, he's giving up a career-low 7.4 yards per reception in coverage.
Foyesade Oluokun is everything the Jaguars bargained for and then some
But as good as Foyesade Olukun's numbers have been since joining the Jacksonville Jaguars, his impact off the field has been equally huge. He was named team captain last year and he got the distinction once again in 2023.
One example of his leadership came in training camp. Most veterans were excused from training camp but Olukun chose to remain in the building to offer mentorship to his younger teammates. That's what leaders do and the Jaguars have a good one in Olukun.
Looking back, giving Oluokun a three-year deal worth $45 million might've seemed a bit too steep but Jacksonville should most definitely be pleased with their investment. They're coming off a huge victory on the road and the linebacker's pick-six was pivotal.
Foyesade Oluokun is starting to turn heads around the league but analysts aren't talking nearly enough of him. If he keeps playing at the same level, maybe it will be time they start talking about him as a legitimate Pro Bowl candidate, and maybe even an All-Pro.