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Falcons Rookie Arnold Ebiketie Could 'Start Right Away'

The Atlanta Falcons added some much-needed pass rush during the draft.

Adding a pass rusher was arguably the biggest need for the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, and they did so with the 38th pick in the draft, selecting Penn State defensive end Arnold Ebiketie.

Arnold Ebiketie
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Ebiketie was a standout at the Senior Bowl and made a massive fan out of Director Jim Nagy.

"[He's an] athletic every-down OLB who could start right away," Nagy tweeted. "Immediately adds much-needed pass rush."

The Falcons had to pay to acquire Ebiketie, trading up five spots with the New York Giants from 43 to 38 while also throwing in No. 114 to select the Penn State defensive end.

Ebiketie, 23, stands 6-2 and weighs 250 pounds hailing from Yaounde, Cameroon. He started his collegiate career playing three seasons with the Temple Owls before transferring to Penn State ahead of the 2021 season.

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In 2021, he had his best season to date with the Nittany Lions. Ebiketie recorded 62 tackles, 18 for loss and 9.5 sacks.

Those sacks will come in handy for the Falcons, considering the team placed dead last in the league last year in sacks with just 18 in 17 games. The next-worst team recorded 29 sacks, 11 more than the Falcons.

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The Falcons had 11 players register a sack last season. Of the 11, just four finished the year with multiple sacks. Of those four, Deion Jones is the only one returning to Atlanta. Foye Oluokun is signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dante Fowler Jr. was released by the team in February.

The pass rushing numbers for Atlanta last season were alarming. The Falcons struggle getting to the quarterback, but with picking Ebiketie, the team should struggle a little bit less.